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  • 6 million people live in Israel, up 2.3 percent from last year

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — Israel’s population totals 6 million, a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year, according to totals released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on the eve of the nation’s 51st Independence Day. Jerusalem remains the country’s largest city, with 632,000 residents, followed by Tel Aviv, with just over half that…

  • Israel moves from remembrance to celebration as it marks 51 years

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — The somber mood of Israel’s national remembrance day for those who fell in defense of the country shifted Tuesday night, with the opening of celebrations for the country’s 51st anniversary. A beacon-lighting ceremony held at Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl bridged the transformation from Yom Hazikaron, remembrance day, and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s…

  • Russian to meet candidates during stopover in Jewish state

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — Russia’s foreign minister was expected to meet with three of Israel’s prime ministerial candidates during a visit to the Jewish state later this week. Igor Ivanov was scheduled to arrive Thursday as part of a regional tour that will also include stopovers in Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian self-rule areas….

  • Israel’s takeover of village in Lebanon ends U.S. mediation

    JERUSALEM, April 20 (JTA) — Israel’s recent takeover of a Lebanese village north of the security zone has reportedly ended an American mediation effort to station Lebanese police in the town. The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Tuesday that the move by the Israeli army in the village of Arnoun came as a surprise to the…

  • Murder case involving U.S. teen spurs change of extradition law

    JERUSALEM, April 19 (JTA) — The Knesset has passed a law making it easier to extradite Israeli citizens charged with committing crimes abroad. Those who hold Israeli citizenship but are not residents of the country will be extradited, while residents will be tried in the Jewish state. The law was spurred by, but is not…

  • Shas leader Deri gets four years; sentence could affect the elections

    JERUSALEM, April 15 (JTA) — A Jerusalem court has sentenced the charismatic leader of the fervently Orthodox Shas Party to four years in prison for taking bribes. Aryeh Deri, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was convicted last month of pocketing $155,000 while holding several positions in the Interior Ministry in the late…

  • Netanyahu-Mordechai debate heralds Israeli election season

    JERUSALEM, April 14 (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Center Party challenger Yitzhak Mordechai faced off this week in the first televised debate between candidates for prime minister in Israel’s upcoming elections. However, the Israeli premier saved his sharpest barbs for Labor leader Ehud Barak, who had refused to participate, saying that such…

  • Knesset debates Kosovo crisis, adopts contradictory resolutions

    JERUSALEM, April 14 (JTA) — A special Knesset session called by both the Likud and Labor factions to address the Kosovo crisis this week quickly spiraled into a sharp domestic political debate between the right and left-wing camps. Former Labor Prime Minister Shimon Peres set off the sparks when he lashed out against the mixed…

  • Israeli researchers issue report on global anti-Semitic incidents

    JERUSALEM, April 13 (JTA) — Anti-Semitic incidents worldwide rose slightly in 1998, reversing a trend seen in the past few years, Israeli researchers said Monday. In the past “three to four years, there was a decrease. Now in the last year there was an increase,” said Rabbi David Rosen, head of the Israel office of…

  • Teen’s concentration camp diary, a fairy tale, to be published in Israel

    JERUSALEM, April 13 (JTA) — “The Diary of Anne Frank” may soon have some competition. A Holocaust-era diary written by a 16-year-old Jewish Dutch girl for her younger sister, documenting life in a concentration camp in fairy-tale form, will soon be published by the Holocaust commemoration center at Kibbutz Lohamei Hageta’ot. The diary, written while…