Report on 2014 Gaza War slams Netanyahu, military leadership

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and army chief of staff did not update the Security Cabinet about the serious threat of Hamas tunnels from Gaza, the nation’s state comptroller said in a report on the 2014 Gaza War.

The Security Cabinet did not have enough information about the threat posed by the tunnels to make decisions about how to proceed during the war, leaving the Israeli military unprepared, Yosef Shapira wrote in the 200-page report released Tuesday afternoon. [Read more…]

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Netanyahu aide probed on ties to German firm that sold submarines to Israel

(JTA) – A top aide of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being investigated for an alleged conflict of interest involving a major arms acquisition from Germany.

David Shimron, a lawyer and confidant of the prime minister, is the subject of the probe by State Attorney Shai Nitzan over ethical issues in connection with a deal between the Israeli Defense Ministry and the German shipping giant ThyssenKrupp for the supply of military submarines to Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday. [Read more…]

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Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon joins U.S. think tank

Israel's outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel’s outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

(JTA) – Former Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon has found a new job at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as its Rosenblatt Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

The Washington Institute, an independent and nonpartisan organization that provides research and recommendations for U.S. Middle East policy, will tap into Ya’alon’s 37-year a career in the Israel Defense Forces and his policy expertise from his seven years in the Knesset, it announced in a news release Thursday. [Read more…]

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Ehud Barak, former Israeli prime minister and defense minister, says Netanyahu enabling ‘budding fascism’

(JTA) – Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak said Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is encouraging “budding fascism.”

“A fanatic nucleus of extremist ideology has taken over Likud by using loopholes in the primaries constitution, purging Likud’s leadership of all those who cherished democracy over populism or some fleeting achievement,” Barak, who served as defense minister under Netanyahu until 2013, said June 16 at the Herzliya Conference. [Read more…]

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Ex-Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon says he will run for prime minister

Israel's outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Moshe Ya’alon, speaking at a press conference in which he announced his resignation from the Knesset, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

(JTA) – Moshe Ya’alon made it clear that he intends to run for prime minister in Israel’s upcoming elections less than a month after resigning as defense minister and from the Knesset.

“I intend to run for the leadership in Israel in the next elections,” Ya’alon said Thursday during a speech at the annual Herzliya Conference. [Read more…]

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Video shows knife was kicked toward Palestinian assailant after Israeli soldier shot him

Elor Azaria arriving in Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)
Elor Azaria arriving in Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)

Elor Azaria arriving in Jaffa Military Court, June 1, 2016. (Flash90)

(JTA) – A video introduced at the manslaughter trial of the Israeli soldier for the shooting death of a wounded Palestinian assailant in the West Bank shows a knife being kicked toward the assailant’s body after the fact.

As testimony began Wednesday, prosecutors told the Jaffa Military Court that the account of the March shooting by the soldier, Sgt. Elor Azaria, has been inconsistent and that the knife used by the assailant, Abdel Fatal al-Sharif, to stab an Israeli soldier was not within reach when Azaria fatally shot him minutes later, according to The Jerusalem Post. [Read more…]

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