Knesset passes law banning groups critical of the Israeli military from schools

Israeli soldiers at a ceremony marking Israel’s Memorial Day at the Kiryat Shaul Military cemetery in Tel Aviv, May 1, 2017. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers at a ceremony marking Israel’s Memorial Day at the Kiryat Shaul Military cemetery in Tel Aviv, May 1, 2017. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers at a ceremony marking Israel’s Memorial Day at the Kiryat Shaul Military cemetery in Tel Aviv, May 1, 2017. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Knesset passed legislation that would ban organizations critical of the Israeli military from entering schools.

The law, which appears aimed at the Breaking the Silence NGO, passed early Tuesday morning on second and third reading by a vote of 43 to 24. [Read more…]

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Israel vows ‘strong action’ against Hamas after over 170 rockets and mortars hit southern Israel

The Iron Dome air-defense system firing to intercept a rocket over the Israeli city of Ashdod, July 8, 2014. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

The Iron Dome air-defence system firing to intercept a rocket over the Israeli city of Ashdod, July 8, 2014. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take “strong action” against Hamas after more than 170 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel on Saturday.

At least four Israelis, a 52-year-old man, his wife, and two daughters, ages 14 and 15, were injured when one of the rockets landed on the roof of their home in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. A second rocket hit a synagogue in Sderot, which was empty at the time.

The Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted at least 30 of the rockets. [Read more…]

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Israeli army promotes first openly gay major-general

Sharon Afek is the first openly gay officer to attain the rank of major-general in the Israel Defense Forces. (Wikipedia)
Sharon Afek is the first openly gay officer to attain the rank of major-general in the Israel Defense Forces. (Wikipedia)

Sharon Afek is the first openly gay officer to attain the rank of major-general in the Israel Defense Forces. (Wikipedia)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israel Defense Forces has made its top attorney the first openly gay major-general.

Military Advocate General Sharon Afek was promoted during a ceremony Thursday at the country’s defence headquarters in Tel Aviv. [Read more…]

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IDF launches campaign to stop soldiers from downloading apps infected with spyware to their cellphones

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has launched a campaign to prevent its soldiers from being tricked by hackers from terrorist groups attempting to install spyware on their cell phones.

The IDF announced on Tuesday that it had launched Operation Broken Heart, so named because operatives pose on social media as attractive females to convince the soldiers to download infected applications for dating websites, as well as another about the FIFA World Cup. [Read more…]

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IDF sends reinforcements to Syria border but says it will not get involved in civil war there

Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has sent armoured and artillery reinforcements to its northern border with Syria as the war between the Arab country’s army and rebels continues to escalate.

The forces were deployed on Sunday morning due to “developments” in the Syrian Golan Heights near the border with Israel, the IDF said in a statement. [Read more…]

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Former head of IDF to speak at Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation AGM, June 6

Gabi Ashkenazi, then the outgoing chief of general staff of the Israel Defense Forces, speaks at the Herzliya Conference, February 7, 2011. (Yotam From)
Gabi Ashkenazi, then the outgoing chief of general staff of the Israel Defense Forces, speaks at the Herzliya Conference, February 7, 2011.  (Yotam From)

Gabi Ashkenazi, then the outgoing chief of general staff of the Israel Defense Forces, speaks at the Herzliya Conference, February 7, 2011. (Yotam From)

Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of general staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2007 to 2011, will be the guest speaker at the annual general meeting of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation.

The Foundation AGM will be held Wednesday, June 6, 7 pm, at the Soloway Jewish Community Centre.

Ashkenazi, whose illustrious military career spanned nearly 40 years – including service as director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Defense – is now chair of the Rashi Foundation. Established in 1984, Rashi is the oldest private foundation in the State of Israel, directing its resources to Israel’s underprivileged, focusing on the young generation and populations with special needs. [Read more…]

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Israeli defense minister bans chief rabbi from military ceremonies

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A meeting between Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi and the Israeli army’s chief rabbi was cancelled after the defense minister banned the chief rabbi from military ceremonies.

On Saturday, Avigdor Liberman banned Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and two other rabbis from the military events after they criticized the Israel Defense Forces mixed-gender units. The meeting scheduled for Monday was canceled a day earlier. [Read more…]

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