European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 06/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 06/09/2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel to ease limits on Palestinian travel for holiday

Israel will ease some restrictions on movement for Palestinians to mark the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry will permit 100,000 West Bank Arabs to visit family in Israel, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, announced on Facebook.

In addition, border posts will operate for longer than usual to enable Palestinians, including Gazans, to travel abroad via Ben Gurion International Airport or Amman, the Times of Israel reports.

Eid al-Adha, which is marked by some Muslims with the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is to begin on or about September 12.

As in past years, married men aged 45 and above and women over 30 will be permitted to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam.

For Gazans, permits to visit the Jerusalem holy site will only be provided for those 60-years-old and more.

Eid al-Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice, commemorates the willingness of the patriarch Abraham, or Ibrahim in the Muslim tradition, to sacrifice his son, and God’s intervention that stopped the slaughter.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Three dead and dozens injured as parking facility collapses in Tel Aviv

At least three people were killed and dozens of others injured when an underground parking facility collapsed in the north Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ramat Hahayal on Monday, Israel Hayom reports. The police have launched an investigation into the cause of the collapse.

Large numbers of police and emergency services personnel scrambled to the area after receiving reports that the ceiling of a four-story underground car park adjacent to a construction site had collapsed. They were joined by IDF Homefront Command rescue teams. A large plume of dust initially hampered medical and rescue crews at the scene.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said 22 people had been injured: Six people sustained moderate injuries, while the rest were lightly hurt.

The deputy head of the Tel Aviv Fire Department told Channel 2 News that rescuers were concerned about dwindling oxygen supplies for those still trapped and feared causing a further collapse while digging.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Israeli groups seek referendum on territories

A group of former Israeli politicians, security officials, artists and social activists on Monday urged the government to hold a national referendum on the future of the Palestinian territories, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The group launched the campaign ahead of the 50th anniversary next year of the 1967 Six-Day War, in which Israel captured swaths of additional territory including the West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians say they seek to establish an independent state in the territories, excluding the Golan Heights. However, many Israelis are apprehensive about Palestinian territorial ambitions which they fear extend all the way to the Mediterranean. With the lack of trust on both sides, sporadic peace talks over two decades have proved futile.

The Israeli group, calling itself "Decision at 50," is led by prominent figures in Israel's peace camp, which believes an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is essential for the country's survival.

They believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state will ensure Israel's future as a democracy with a solid Jewish majority.

The alternative, they claim, is a "binational" state in which Israel either risks losing its Jewish majority or ruling over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians.  

By contrast, many Israeli officials believe that the country’s continued control over the areas is paramount for its security and therefore its physical survival.

The group's founders include Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet internal security agency, Amram Mitzna, a retired general, and Gilead Sher, who was a peace negotiator under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.  

The group said it sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asking to hold the referendum. Netanyahu himself has endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state. But peace efforts have remained frozen throughout most of his seven-year tenure amid wide gaps with the Palestinians over all major issues.

"Every day in which our control over the Palestinian territories persists brings us closer to the end of Israel as the democratic state of the Jewish people," Ayalon said. "Netanyahu sees the disaster ahead, but he is not courageous enough to act." Netanyahu's office declined comment.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


Tuesday, September 06, 2016
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