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  • NEWS ANALYSIS Knesset appointment highlights role of Arabs in Israeli government

    JERUSALEM, July 11 (JTA) — A controversial appointment backed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak has spotlighted some key questions regarding the relationship between the Jewish state and its Arab citizens. Some of the questions — such as whether Israeli Arabs are treated as second-class citizens and whether Israel’s government is fully representative of its Arab…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Friendships formed, but few minds changed as Mideast reporters meet

    AMMAN, Jordan, July 6 (JTA) — Just as Ehud Barak was presenting his new government to the Israeli Knesset, peace groups in the Middle East were interrupting their lengthy hibernations. Some 150 peace activists met this week in Cairo for one of the largest conferences of the Middle East peace camp ever, yet another stage…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Northern Israelis angry, fearful after rocket attacks by Hezbollah

    JERUSALEM, June 28 (JTA) — Residents of Israel’s northern communities are living with an unsettling mix of anger, frustration and fear. These emotions roiled to the surface after the most deadly Katyusha rocket attack in more than four years was launched by Hezbollah from across the Lebanese border. What makes the assault particularly galling for…

  • Barak, Assad comments prompt word that Israeli, Syrian talks set to resume

    JERUSALEM, June 23 (JTA) — Published comments by the leaders of Israel and Syria are giving political observers new evidence that peace negotiations between the two countries are poised to resume. Syrian President Hafez Assad and Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak made favorable comments about each other in separate interviews published in the London-based, Arab-language newspaper…

  • Arab candidate for premier wounded during protest over house demolition

    JERUSALEM, June 22 (JTA) — Tensions among Israeli Arabs are running high after the first member of their community to run for prime minister was wounded by Israeli police during a demonstration near Tel Aviv. Legislator Azmi Beshara, who dropped out of the race two days before the May 17 elections, was wounded lightly in…

  • Shas leader quits as party head; move could affect coalition talks

    JERUSALEM, June 15 (JTA) — The chairman of Shas has resigned all his responsibilities as party leader in a move that could clear the way for the fervently Orthodox party to join Prime-Minister-elect Ehud Barak’s governing coalition. Aryeh Deri made his dramatic announcement Tuesday before a meeting of Shas Knesset members, stating that he was…

  • Dalai Lama visits Jerusalem, asks Arabs to aid Iranian Jews

    JERUSALEM, June 14 (JTA) — The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled leader, concluded a three-day visit to Israel on Monday, telling the chief rabbi that he is unable to intervene on behalf of 13 Jews arrested in Iran. Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau suggested that both he and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate go to Iran…

  • Youth killings stir new debate over violence in Israeli culture

    JERUSALEM, June 13 (JTA) — Outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Premier-elect Ehud Barak visited the home of a Jerusalem family Sunday whose 15-year-old son was murdered last Thursday by another teen-ager. The visits came as increasing public attention in Israel was devoted to the growing wave of juvenile violence. The murder of Gilad Raviv…

  • Munich Olympics mastermind not allowed into the West Bank

    JERUSALEM, June 13 (JTA) — Bowing to German pressure, outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Israel’s security services Sunday to prevent the entry into the West Bank of Mohammad Daoud Odeh, who is responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered. The premier also ordered that the VIP card…

  • Israelis operating drone aircraft in Kosovo arrested, then released

    JERUSALEM, June 9 (JTA) — Macedonian officials have released seven Israelis who were arrested while operating a remote-controlled aircraft monitoring the situation in Kosovo. The Israelis said Wednesday that their only goal was to serve international television companies by providing footage from battlefields and other sensitive areas. The drone operators are working for a company…