European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 04/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 04/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Supreme Court chief clashes with Justice Minister over judicial appointments

The battle over appointments of new judges to Israel's Supreme Court escalated on Thursday as Israel's chief justice accused the justice minister of "putting a gun on the table," and said the bench would not work with the minister on any new appointments, Ha’aretz reports.

In Israel, Supreme Court judges are appointed by a panel consisting of ministers, Knesset members, Bar Association representatives and sitting justices. But because Supreme Court appointments must be approved by at least seven members, the justices effectively have a veto over their own successors.

 Supreme Court President Miriam Naor said she and Israel’s other justices will not hold any discussions with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked because of new legislation she is promoting which will de facto remove the judges’ veto power, Naor told Shaked on Thursday

Next year four new Supreme Court justices are set to be appointed. Shaked, who chairs the panel, has said that she wants to appoint more conservative justices in 2017.

In her letter to Shaked, Naor noted that though the proposed legislation was not introduced by Shaked, reports have said it was done on her behalf and enjoys her support.

“In these circumstances, introducing the bill now represents ‘putting a gun on the table,’” wrote Naor. “If some of the members of the Judicial Appointments Committee do not express their agreement to the appointment of certain candidates in a manner that doesn’t allow their appointment with a special majority, then the constitutional ‘rules of the game’ will be changed – so it will be possible to appoint them with a regular majority,” Naor added.

Such a situation means the Supreme Court justices will not be able to continue their consultations with the justice minister, wrote Naor. “As a result, I am forced to notify you – with the agreement of my colleagues, Deputy President [Elyakim] Rubinstein and Justice [Salim] Joubran – that we do not intend continuing with you at this time on the preliminary dialogue and consultations,” Naor added.

Shaked’s office said in response: “The meetings of the Judicial Appointments Committee will continue normally. In the next few days, a list of candidates for the Supreme Court will be released.”

Former Justice Minister MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said that in the face of “destructive aggression, we need to take exceptional steps. The attempt to pressure Supreme Court justices should never have been born. Protecting the court is not just an interest for the justices – it is primarily a public interest.”

The proposed bill would allow new justices to be appointed by a simple majority of 5-4, thereby depriving the Supreme Court of its veto power. Effectively, Shaked is seeking to restore the situation to what it was until 2008, when the law was changed to require a majority of at least 7-2 for Supreme Court appointments.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Terrorist attempts stabbing in West Bank

A terrorist who attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Ofra Interchange in the West Bank on Thursday afternoon was shot and killed by security personnel stationed nearby, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The incident took place at a bus stop on Route 60 at the entrance to the Israeli settlement located in the northern West Bank.

The terrorist approached the bus station on foot before producing a knife and attempting to stab IDF soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda regiment guarding the area. They immediately opened fire on the terrorist, who was killed.

No injuries were reported in the attack, which also occurred near the site at which a vehicular and stabbing attack was attempted last Saturday.  

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • French presidential plane equipped with Israeli defence system

The official plane of the President of France, François Hollande, has been upgraded and equipped with an Israeli-made anti-missile defence system, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The Elbit-made system, which is estimated to cost around 1 million euros per unit, is considered to be the most sophisticated system of its kind. Recent photos of the presidential plane show the special cell containing the device attached to the belly of the plane, the back and behind the wings. Israeli airline El Al has already been equipped with the system.

Défens’Aéro, a French blog specialising in aviation, noticed the newly-installed system after seeing photographs of the plane two weeks ago in Bordeaux.

According to French news agency AFP, an anonymous French security official confirmed the system.

The system consists of smart thermal cameras that identify an incoming missile and targets the missile with a laser beam. The specialised beam interferes with the missile's targeting system, deflecting it off its trajectory and allowing it to explode at a safe distance from the plane.

Shoulder-fired missiles are now the main dangers facing aircraft, especially in war zones. They are relatively cheap, accessible and easy to operate.

The presidential plane also serves French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as well as the Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

Friday, November 04, 2016
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