Israel Jails Palestinian Beautician Over Facebook Post

Bethlehem, occupied West Bank – As uniformed men burst through her front gate last month, Nidal Atwan first thought they had come to her Bethlehem-area home to arrest her 16-year-old son, Mohammed. “It was two o’clock in the morning. If you saw the number of military jeeps, you’d think Osama bin Laden was in the neighbourhood,”… Read More

Israel’s ex-PM Olmert Starts 19-Month Prison Sentence

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has begun serving his prison sentence, making him the first former head of government in Israel to go to prison. Olmert will enter Ma’asiyahu prison near Tel Aviv on Monday to start serving a 19-month sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice. Hours before entering the prison, Olmert released a… Read More

Could Gay Rights Rip Apart Netanyahu’s Conservative Government?

On Dec. 28th, 2015, the first openly gay member of the ruling Likud party, and the third ever in Israel, was sworn into the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).

Amir Ohana took office, following former Member of Knesset (MK) Silvan Shalom’s resignation after Shalom, the then Interior Minister faced a barrage of sexual harassment complaints.

Ohana will take over as Interior Minister, replacing Shalom.

Noticeably absent from the 120 member parliament were 13 members of Israel’s right wing coalition, of which Likud chairs. All of the absentees were from the Shas and the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) parties.

UTJ admits that Ohana’s potential advocacy for the LGBT community led to their boycott of his swearing in, while Shas claimed ignorance of the event altogether.

Regardless of whether Shas is feigning ignorance to save face, this demonstrates one of the peculiar cleavages in the Likud led Israeli coalition.

Regardless of whether Shas is feigning ignorance to save face, this demonstrates one of the peculiar cleavages in the Likud led Israeli coalition.

Both Shas and UTJ are Orthodox Jewish parties, and thus inclined to hold more socially conservative positions than the secular Likud party.

Navigating between the secular and religious movements in the Israeli Right presents a strong problem for the coalition.

One such instance includes UTJ leaving the 1999 coalition  due to a turbine delivery on the Sabbath.

Israeli Knesset Building. Photo Credit: Chris Yunker/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Israeli Knesset Building. Photo Credit: Chris Yunker/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

These cleavages further present themselves in discussion of the Palestinian residents of Israel, and Palestinian Administered regions.

While UTJ trends against expansion of the Israeli state to encompass the West Bank and Gaza, Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home Party (another right wing partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government) and the current minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs has inserted himself in several controversies related to the Palestinian question, including claiming there is “no problem” with killing Arabs, and banning a book from school curriculums about a pair of lovers separated by the Israel Palestine conflict.

This new exposure brought about by the swearing in of Ohana of these cleavages only reveal longstanding issues between various religious and Zionist flavors in the conservative coalition.

While this show of disrespect to the Likud party may be an isolated incident, Netanyahu ought to take care not to allow these instances, or growing instability in the PA, to break up his narrow majority in Knesset.

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Cover Photo Credit: Nadav Shushu Siman Tov‎/Facebook

Israeli Soldier Kills Palestinian Woman In West Bank

A 19 year old Palestinian woman was shot and killed by a Israeli solider on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in Hebron, a city in the West Bank.

The Israeli Defense Force announced the shooting via Twitter.

According to multiple media reports, Hadeel al-Hashlamun was a student but it is unclear what exactly led to the shooting- although Israeli officials say that al-Hashlamun was trying to stab a soldier.

The shooting comes on the heels of a failed terrorist attack a few hours earlier in Hebron.

From Reuters:

“A Palestinian militant died when a bomb he was trying to throw at Israeli forces blew up near the West Bank city of Hebron overnight, officials from both sides said on Tuesday, as tension mounted on the eve of the Jewish Yom Kippur fast day.”

Watch: A video showing the aftermath of the shooting of Hadeel al-Hashlamun.

This is a developing story. 

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Cover Photo Credit: Youth Against Settlements/ Facebook

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