Israel

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Spy Pollard Goes Free in November

Lawyers, Justice Department confirm

(Newser) - After 30 years in prison, convicted spy Jonathan Pollard will indeed go free this year. His lawyers and officials with the Justice Department have confirmed the news, which surfaced last week, reports CNN . Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst who got caught passing classified information to Israeli operatives, will go... More »

Huckabee: Obama Marching Israelis to 'Door of Oven'

POTUS candidate under fire for attack on Iran nuclear deal

(Newser) - It's no surprise that presidential candidate Mike Huckabee isn't happy with the recent Iran nuclear deal , but the rhetoric he used to make his point has prompted a call from the Democratic National Committee for an apology, the BBC reports. In an interview with Breitbart on Saturday, the... More »

Report: US to Release Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard

Wall Street Journal says it could happen in weeks

(Newser) - The US is getting ready to release one of its most high-profile prisoners. The Wall Street Journal reports that Jonathan Pollard, the former Navy analyst who is serving a life sentence for spying on behalf of Israel, could be released in a matter of weeks. The 60-year-old was convicted in... More »

Where Was Jesus Baptized? UNESCO Weighs In

Debate continues as UN group picks Jordan side over West Bank locale

(Newser) - Addressing a long-simmering debate about whether Jesus Christ was baptized on the eastern or western side of the Jordan River, UNESCO has made its final decision, and the winner is … Jordan, not the West Bank in Israel, the AP reports. Despite a lack of strong archaeological evidence, the UN... More »

Hamas Has Held Israeli for Almost a Year: Officials

An Arab-Israeli is also reportedly being held, though it's unclear by whom

(Newser) - Israel said today two of its citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip—and it believes Hamas has had its hands on one of them for almost a year, the AP reports. An Israeli defense unit says that "credible intelligence" shows Avraham Mangisto, said by Israeli media to... More »

To Keep ISIS Out, Israel Plans a Fence

18-mile-long fence will be built along eastern border with Jordan

(Newser) - Israel's borders with Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt are protected by a fence. Now the country has approved a plan to build an 18-mile-long fence along its eastern border with Jordan that could help prevent Islamist extremists and migrants from entering the country. The fence, to run from Eilat to... More »

World Now Has Almost as Many Jews as Pre-Holocaust

Israeli think tank links rise to changing patterns of identification

(Newser) - The world's Jewish population is nearly as large as it was before the Holocaust, Israeli think tank Jewish People Policy Institute said in its annual report yesterday, putting that number at 14.2 million Jews. When factoring in individuals with one Jewish parent and others who identify as partially... More »

Israel Politician's Wife Posts Racist Obama Tweet

'Black and weak' joke does not go down well

(Newser) - As a well-known media personality in Israel and the wife of one of the country's most powerful politicians, Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes has a lot of Twitter followers—and a lot of people to offend when she does something like tweet a racist joke about another country's leader. "... More »

Scientists Reconstructing Ancient Jar Find a Mystery

The inscription dates back to the King David era

(Newser) - When archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of shards of pottery at the Khirbet Qeiyafa biblical site near Jerusalem in 2012, they noticed letters in ancient Canaanite on some of the pieces and began the work of putting the 3,000-year-old jar back together. What they found was the inscription of a... More »

Israel Frees Pork-Eating Soldier

US-born man didn't realize sandwich would be a problem

(Newser) - The Israeli military has scrapped a punishment for a US-born Israeli soldier who had caused a stink by violating the military's kosher rules by eating a pork sandwich while in uniform. Earlier, the military said the soldier, whose name was not released, "violated rules and regulations," which... More »

Israel's Burning Man Torched Ancient Relics

Site of festival fire housed ancient flint tools

(Newser) - The Israeli Antiquities Authority says revelers at a Burning Man festival famous for its pyrotechnic spectacles have accidentally torched some remnants of prehistoric man. Archaeologist Yoram Haimi says organizers of Midburn, an Israeli affiliate of the Nevada carnival, burned a wooden temple Saturday on a hilltop scattered with flint tools... More »

Ex-Israeli PM Gets Prison Over Cash From American

Ehud Olmert was sentenced today to eight months in prison

(Newser) - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced today to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a US supporter, capping the dramatic downfall of a man who only years earlier led the country and hoped to bring about a historic peace agreement with the Palestinians. Olmert was... More »

Workers Stumble on 2K-Year-Old Marvel in Jerusalem

Ancient aqueduct worked 'intermittently' until last century, experts say

(Newser) - Workers constructing a sewer line in East Jerusalem last month discovered a 2,000-year-old water-supply system that—think about this—worked fairly well until the last century, LiveScience reports. The 13-mile long Lower Aqueduct, which was fed by a spring south of Bethlehem and runs through four modern-day Jerusalem neighborhoods,... More »

65-Year-Old Gives Birth, Sets Record

She's the oldest to bear a child in Israel

(Newser) - A 65-year-old woman in Israel has just become a mother for the first time. The ultra-Orthodox woman gave birth to a healthy 5.9-pound baby boy this week, reports the Jerusalem Post . Haya Shahar did so thanks to IVF treatment she had outside the country, likely Russia, because Israel forbids... More »

Vatican Recognizes Palestine; Israel 'Disappointed'

Official diplomatic recognition days ahead of Abbas visit

(Newser) - The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized today, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects. The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition... More »

Last-Minute Deal Allows Netanyahu to Keep Power

He's able to form coalition with just an hour to spare

(Newser) - It came down to the final hour, literally, but Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a deal to form a new government, reports AP . Netanyahu faced a deadline of midnight local time to scrape together a coalition following Likud's victory in the March elections, and he needed nearly every minute of... More »

Oldest Copy of Ten Commandments Goes on Display

But only for 2 weeks, in Israel

(Newser) - A 2,000-year-old copy of the Ten Commandments believed to be the oldest in existence is going on display at a Jerusalem museum, reports the Jewish Press . This particular version showed up in one of the Dead Sea scrolls, and it's so fragile that it will be allowed to... More »

Without Palestinian Gig, Lauryn Hill Cancels on Israel

Singer didn't want to alienate fans

(Newser) - Lauryn Hill is canceling a planned performance in Tel Aviv because she wasn't able to also schedule a concert in the nearby Palestinian city of Ramallah. The singer-songwriter said in a statement yesterday that she originally intended to perform in both cities in hopes of being "a presence... More »

Cops: Woman Set Car Afire After Being Denied Cigarette

At a gas station

(Newser) - A man who stopped for gas at a Jerusalem gas station yesterday saw his day go downhill in a flash when cops say a woman peeved that he didn't give her a cigarette set his car on fire, per Haaretz . Security footage shows the woman walking up to the... More »

Jews, Muslims Bicker Over New Carpet in Jerusalem Shrine

Archaeologists say Jordanian contractors may be damaging Dome of the Rock

(Newser) - It began as a routine remodeling project: Muslim authorities replacing an old carpet at the Dome of the Rock, the iconic, gold-topped shrine that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. But the carpet has sparked a verbal holy war over the hilltop compound, revered by Jews and Muslims whose competing... More »

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