Parents of soldiers killed in 2014 Gaza war rip Netanyahu at hearing

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The parents of soldiers killed in Israel’s 2014 Gaza War verbally attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government during a Knesset hearing, with one throwing a cup of water at a lawmaker.

At the Knesset State Control Committee hearing Wednesday on the state comptroller’s report on the war, the mother of Lt. Hadar Goldin, a soldier whose remains are still held by Hamas in Gaza, told Netanyahu that he has turned the bereaved families seeking the return of their children’s remains into “enemies of the people.” [Read more…]


Palestinian sisters crossing into Israel for cancer treatment caught smuggling explosives

(JTA) – Two Palestinian sisters attempting to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip so that one could receive cancer treatment were caught smuggling explosives.

The explosives, used in the production of homemade bombs, were hidden in tubes carried by the women labeled “medical materials,” the Shin Bet security service said in a statement issued Wednesday evening, hours after the women were stopped at the Erez Crossing. [Read more…]


Abbas warns of ‘unprecedented steps’ to end political division with Hamas

(JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would take decisive action to end the political split between his regime and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

“These days, we are in a dangerous and tough situation that requires decisive steps, and we are to take these decisive steps,” Abbas said Wednesday, according to an Associated Press report citing the official Palestinian news agency Wafa. “Therefore, we are going to take unprecedented steps in the coming days to end the division.” [Read more…]


Hamas fortifying border amid threats to strike Israel over commander’s assassination

(JTA) – Hamas is adding to its fortifications in Gaza near the border with Israel amid threats by the terrorist group to retaliate for the assassination of one of its commanders.

Mazen Fuqaha, a West Bank commander whom Israel released in a prisoner swap in 2011 and exiled to the Gaza Strip, was shot dead in a killing that Hamas blames on Israel. The Israeli government declined to comment on the incident. [Read more…]


Arab leaders: We’ll try to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

(JTA) – Arab leaders declared their willingness to help advance the two-state solution, signaling that Palestinian demands would have to be addressed before, not after, any regional embrace of Israel.

The closing statement of the annual Arab League Summit, hosted by Jordan, said Wednesday that “peace is a strategic option” for its members. The Arab states declared their willingness to “continue to work to relaunch serious Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations” based on their longstanding framework. [Read more…]


Family of Israeli soldier whose body held by Hamas sues IDF for evidence he is dead

Zehava and Herzl Shaul have no definitive proof that their son Oron died after he was captured by Hamas on July 20, 2014 in Gaza City. (Ben Sales)

Herzl and Zehava Shaul with a photo of their son Oron, who was captured by Hamas on July 20, 2014, in Gaza City. His remains have been held by Hamas. (Ben Sales)

(JTA) – The family of an Israeli soldier believed killed in the 2014 Gaza war and whose body is being held by Hamas filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court to see the evidence that led the army to declare him dead.

The family of Oron Shaul had asked the army two months ago for the information. Their request was denied. [Read more…]