European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 09/12/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 09/12/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Hamas terror cell uncovered in east Jerusalem

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in conjunction with Israeli Police uncovered a terror cell of Israeli citizens operating in the eastern Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sur Baher and Sheikh Jarrah, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The terrorists, which include Hamas activists, planned to carry out attacks on the city, including a shooting attack on an IDF base in northern Jerusalem.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Attorney General improves citizenship laws for LGBT couples

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on Thursday of his decision to make the process of acquiring Israeli citizenship the same for LGBT foreign couples as straight foreign couples, Yediot Aharonot reports.

“This is a huge victory,” said the chairman of the Gay Dads Association Udi Ledergor, whose organization filed the petition. “The old procedure struck a fatal blow to the possibility of same-sex couples from becoming parents and giving their children the status they deserve. We decided to attack all the main discriminatory elements, one of which is the absence of naturalisation possibilities for foreign spouses.”

In the petition submitted by lawyer Iris Sheinfeld to the HCJ, it was highlighted that there was a need to make equal the process for gay Israelis who marry foreign men or women and for straight Israelis who marry foreigners. 

Today, the process of acquiring full citizenship is only applicable to heterosexual couples between a ‘husband and wife’, a process which is significantly shorter for straight couples comprising one foreigner, than for gay couples. Indeed, a gay foreign spouse is currently required to wait longer until the conclusion of the process, at which point they are forced to forfeit their foreign citizenship.

According to the procedure for straight couples, foreign spouses are eligible to receive citizenship after four years. By contrast, the same procedure for LGBT couples takes seven years.

The attorney general personally determined and instructed the relevant officials to update the procedure to meet a new equal criteria. Nevertheless, the state has emphasised that this will not mean that it recognises same-sex marriages but rather it will only affect the procedure for acquiring citizenship for marriages of such a kind .

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Israel sees all-time record for November tourism

Israel saw its highest-ever influx of tourists for the month of November, the Tourism Ministry announced on Thursday.

Authorities recorded 287,900 tourists entering Israel over the course of the month, a 38 per cent increase over compared to November 2015, when the country was in the midst of a wave of terror attacks, the Times of Israel reports. The steep rise this year is more than just a recovery from the 2015 slump, as it also constituted a 12% increase over the previous all-time November high of 256,500, in 2013.

In a statement, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin attributed the increase to “our intensive marketing efforts in new countries such as China and India, as well as targeted [advertising] campaigns for the winter season.”

The ministry will continue the advertising campaigns with the stated goal of “a sustained growth in tourist travel,” he said.

As of the end of November, some 2,651,400 tourists have visited the country in 2016.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, December 09, 2016
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