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  • Assad: Syrian army can handle terrorist Israel

    (JTA) — Syria’s army is ready to deal with Israel, Syrian President Bashar Assad told an Iranian official on Syrian state television. “The Syrian people and its army, who have made important achievements by fighting terrorist and Takfiri groups, are capable of confronting Israel’s ventures that represent one of the many faces of terrorism targeting Syria… More ▸

  • Police question Jerusalem grand mufti over Temple Mount disturbance

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — The grand mufti of Jerusalem was detained by Israel Police following an incident between Palestinians and Jews at the Temple Mount. Sheikh Mohammad Hussein was questioned Wednesday and released hours later in connection with Tuesday’s public disturbance in which Muslim worshipers threw rocks and chairs at Jews visiting the site, where the Al-Aksa… More ▸

  • State Dept. urges ‘freedom of worship’ after Easter charges against Israel

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration said “freedom of worship is a core human right” in response to reports that Israel hindered the access of Palestinian Christians to holy sites on Easter Sunday. The State Department, in response to a reporter’s question about reports that Israel had kept Palestinian Christians from reaching Jerusalem on Sunday, the… More ▸

  • Ashton Kutcher heads to Israel

    Next week Israel will welcome its first big-name American visitor since Barack Obama, who was there in March. Okay, so this time it’s the star of “Two And A Half Men” and not the ruler of the free world, but still. Ashton Kutcher = pretty exciting stuff. The Kabbalah-practicing actor will bring along another attractive… More ▸

  • U.S. official talking ‘blood diamonds’ with Israel

    A top U.S. official is traveling to Israel to discuss trade with a focus on conflict diamonds. Jose Fernandez, the assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, arrived in Israel on Monday for a two-day visit, the State Department said in a statement. More ▸

  • Billions of locusts hatched in southern Israel

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Billions of newly hatched locusts are spreading throughout Israel’s South. The young locusts identified in the Negev Desert area are the offspring of locust swarms that entered Israel from Egypt in March. They are unable to fly and are not yet big enough to cause crop damage, according to reports. Once the young… More ▸

  • Israel’s Lapid plans to charge value added tax to tourists

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid will propose a plan to charge tourists with the country’s value added tax. Lapid hopes to push the plan through the Knesset in time to implement on June 1, when the VAT is set to rise to 18 percent from 17 percent as part of the steep austerity measures… More ▸

  • Deri named Shas Party chairman

    Aryeh Deri was appointed chairman of Shas by the Sephardic haredi Orthodox party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. The appointment Thursday comes seven months after a triumvirate of lawmakers was tapped to lead the party through the November 2012 national elections. Deri, along with Eli Yishai and Ariel Atias, have been leading the party. Atias… More ▸

  • P.A. health minister makes landmark visit to Hadassah Hospital

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian Authority minister of health visited Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem reportedly for the first time. Dr. Hanu Abdeen, accompanied by other senior officials from the Palestinian Authority, visited the hospital on Sunday and met some of the dozens of Palestinian physicians who are doing their residency training there. The hospital said Abdeen was… More ▸