European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 26/08/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 26/08/2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel rejects immunity for indicted UN engineer in Gaza

The Israeli government on Thursday rejected a UN request for diplomatic immunity for a Palestinian engineer who worked for the UN in the Gaza Strip, but is now in prison after being accused of assisting the territory's Islamic militant Hamas rulers, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Israel arrested 38-year-old Waheed Borsh, who worked for the UN Development Agency (UNDP), on July 16 on suspicion of aiding Hamas. The government announced on August 9 that he had been indicted on charges of assisting the militant group.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said: "Israel rejects the claim that a person assisting a terror organisation recognised by the international community such as Hamas could enjoy immunity."

The Shin Bet intelligence agency said that Borsh used UNDP resources last year to build a marina for Hamas' naval forces. In addition, the Shin Bet alleged that at Hamas' request, he persuaded his managers to prioritise the reconstruction of houses damaged in conflicts with Israel in areas where Hamas members lived.

UNDP said in a statement that it was "greatly concerned" by the allegations, that it was investigating them, and that it has "zero tolerance for wrongdoing" in its programmes and projects.

Nachshon said the UN suddenly claimed in a letter Wednesday that Borsh is entitled to diplomatic immunity. The claim was examined by jurists who determined it is "unsubstantiated," he said.

"It is outrageous that a man assisting a terror organisation could benefit from UN immunity," Nachshon said. "It is clear that immunity is not a licence to commit acts of terror." 

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Shots fired at Israeli Navy during arrest of Palestinian fishermen

Shots were fired from the shore of a Gaza beach toward an Israeli Navy ship on Thursday during proceedings to arrest a Palestinian fisherman who had breached waters deemed illegal by Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The Israeli forces stopped a fishing boat that had exceeded the permitted area for fishing off the northern coast of the Gaza Strip.

The ship was then fired upon from a beach in the Gaza Strip after the fishing boat was detained.

Naval security forces called for the suspects to return to the permitted waters and prepared to make arrests. During the arrest one suspect was lightly wounded from the fire emanating from the shore.

No one was injured and no damage was sustained. The Navy ship distanced itself from the scene.

The second Palestinian suspect returned to the permitted fishing territory with the fishing boat.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Religious Zionist school backs down on skirt length

After Ynet reported on the recent change in dress code at Petah Tikva's Ulpanit Jeshurun that extended the female pupils' required skirt length to the floor and the parents' anger at such a change, the administration sent a new message to the parents on Thursday night rescinding the planned modification.

Ulpanit Jeshurun is an all-girls school with 1,000 pupils from seventh to twelfth grade. It is a National Religious establishment. Its principal, Rabbi Yaniv Cohen, sent a letter to the parents last week in which he announced that the girls' skirts needed to reach the floor from now on. Previously, the requirement had been that skirts be knee-length.

The letter enraged many of the students' parents. They complained that the new requirement was a sign of "ultra-Orthodoxizing" the school. They further protested that the change was announced just weeks before the beginning of the school year, when it would be nigh impossible to enrol their girls in a different school if they so wished.

Following the publication of this letter and the ire it inspired, a conversation began between the administration and the PTA. On Thursday, the principal sent a new letter to parents that announced that during the upcoming school year, the school would be implementing school uniforms. He wrote that the skirt length would be to the knees, adding that, "a team of the institution's management, the PTA, the pupils and fashion consultants will meet in the coming months about the style and selection of skirts."

His letter did clarify further that skirts must fully cover the knees and that pupils who failed to come appropriately dressed would not be able to continue learning at Ulpanit Jeshurun. 

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


Friday, August 26, 2016
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