Israel

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Ancient Israelites Got High at Church

Cannabis residue turns up on altar going back 2,700 years

(Newser) - Scientists studying residue on an ancient Israeli altar found something they didn't expect: cannabis. And it appears those present knew exactly what they were doing. They figured out a way to keep it burning at a low temperature to get worshipers high, reports Haaretz . The sample was found on... More »

Netanyahu: This Case Is 'Fabricated'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes on trial

(Newser) - Israel's prime minister arrived in a Jerusalem court Sunday and denounced the corruption case against him—along with officials, journalists, and police he claims fabricated the evidence, the Times of Israel reports. "Elements in the police and State Attorney’s Office banded together with left-wing journalists ... to fabricate... More »

Chinese Ambassador Found Dead in Home

Initial reports suggest Beijing's envoy to Israel died of natural causes

(Newser) - The Chinese ambassador to Israel was found dead in his home north of Tel Aviv on Sunday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said. No cause of death was given and Israeli police said it was investigating, though Israeli media were reporting that Du Wei appeared to have died of natural causes... More »

Court: OK Netanyahu, You Win

Ruling clears way for 'emergency government'

(Newser) - Israel's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may form a new government while under indictment for corruption charges, clearing the way for him and his main rival to join together in a controversial power-sharing deal. The unanimous decision, released just before midnight, ended a more than... More »

This Political Protest Includes Social Distancing

Thousands of people oppose the new unity-government deal in Israel

(Newser) - Several thousand Israelis rallied Saturday to demonstrate against a unity government deal reached last week that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power as he prepares to go on trial for corruption charges, the AP reports. The protesters oppose having Netanyahu as prime minister as long as he is a... More »

Finally, Israelis Won't Have to Vote Again

Deal averts 4th election in 12 months; Netanyahu will remain PM for now

(Newser) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival signed an agreement Monday to form an "emergency” government, their parties announced in a joint statement. The deal between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and former military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White ends months of political paralysis and averts... More »

2M-Year-Old Stones Baffled Experts—Until Now

An international team analyzes stones from Qesem Cave in Israel

(Newser) - Ancient humans didn't exactly have kitchen supplies, but still had to eat—a fact that might help solve an old mystery. In a new paper , researchers say they can explain the small stone balls found in archaeological sites across Asia, Africa, and Europe dating back nearly two million years.... More »

Netanyahu Distances Himself From Son's Tweet on Protesters

Yair Netanyahu wrote 'I hope the elderly who die following this protest will only be from your camp'

(Newser) - Thousands of people took to the streets of Tel Aviv Thursday to demonstrate against Benjamin Netanyahu, with claims that he's steeped in corruption and undermining democracy amid the coronavirus pandemic. None other than the prime minister's son ended up stoking controversy over the protests. The Times of Israel... More »

Notes Pulled From Western Wall, With a Twist

Hazmat suits were required this time around due to coronavirus

(Newser) - He stood at one of the world’s holiest sites and prayed for those who've contracted COVID-19. Then Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of Jerusalem's Western Wall, watched as thousands of written prayers crammed into the crevices of stone were removed. This happens twice a year before Passover and Rosh... More »

Scammers Called Up People for Money and Got $50M

Looks like Gilbert Chikli, 54, and Anthony Lasarevitsch, 35, are going to prison

(Newser) - Six guys scammed people out of $50 million—by calling them and asking for it, the New York Times reports. A French court found them all guilty Wednesday of an elaborate scheme to defraud wealthy political, religious, and business figures. It seems Gilbert Chikli, 54, and Anthony Lasarevitsch, 35, masterminded... More »

Child: 'Balloons!' Child #2: 'That's a Bomb!'

Israel grapples with militant tactic of sending balloons over the border

(Newser) - Merav Hania recalls the day her daughter stopped enjoying kindergarten—when balloons floated into her playground in Israel, the Washington Post reports. "Balloons!" the girl cried. But another child stopped her: "That's a bomb!" Sure enough, Emma huddled with other students inside as a police... More »

Israel Tries for 3rd Time in a Year to Vote on Netanyahu

Nobody can seem to form a government

(Newser) - Israelis voted Monday in an unprecedented third election in less than a year to decide whether longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power despite his upcoming trial on corruption charges, the AP reports. His trial begins March 17. Netanyahu, the longest-serving leader in Israeli history, has been a caretaker... More »

Bloomberg 'Just Went There' With Trump

And there's other political chatter on Sunday

(Newser) - In Politico 's words, "Mike Bloomberg's campaign just went there." Facing a wave of attacks from President Trump, the Democratic candidate fired back Sunday with "pathological liar"—not an unusual retort for Dems—then dared to engage in a game of personal insults. "... More »

Israel Launches 'Wide-Scale' Strikes on Gaza

Airstrikes follow rocket fire from militants

(Newser) - The Israeli military said on Friday that it launched "wide-scale" airstrikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip shortly after Palestinian militants fired three rockets into Israel, two of which were intercepted. There were no reports of casualties or major damage from the exchange of fire overnight, which came... More »

US Gives Israel a Bold Green Light

Netanyahu plans vote on annexing parts of Jordan Valley, West Bank

(Newser) - With the ink still drying on President Trump's Middle East peace plan, Israel says it's ready for action. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he will have his cabinet vote Sunday on two key measures: applying Israeli sovereignty to parts of the Jordan Valley and to Jewish settlements... More »

Here Is What's in Trump's Mideast Peace Plan

It calls for Palestinian state, settlement freeze

(Newser) - President Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan Tuesday, calling for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in portions of east Jerusalem. He declared it a "win-win" opportunity for both Israel and the Palestinians. The plan ends speculation as to whether his administration, in... More »

Jeopardy! Producers: Bethlehem Question Shouldn't Have Aired

They say wrong version of game show was sent to TV stations

(Newser) - Producers of the game show Jeopardy! have apologized for a clue that waded into political hot water involving Israeli control of the West Bank, saying an incorrect version of the show was sent to television stations, the AP reports. A game shown last Friday asked contestants to identify the location... More »

Israeli PM: I Want Immunity

Netanyahu plans to approach the speaker of the Knesset and 'fulfill my right' to be PM

(Newser) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he would seek immunity from corruption charges, likely delaying any trial until after March elections, when he hopes to have a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution, the AP reports. Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of accepting bribes, fraud,... More »

Netanyahu Says He Defeated Likud Challenger

Prime minister predicts another victory in upcoming elections

(Newser) - The official result won't be released before Friday morning, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he won his Likud Party primary Thursday. "A huge win! With God's and your help, I will lead the Likud to a big victory in the upcoming elections," Netanyahu tweeted... More »

Netanyahu Evacuated From Rally After Rocket Fired

He was speaking at rally 8 miles north of Gaza

(Newser) - For the second time in less than four months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to be rushed off stage at a campaign event Wednesday after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu and dozens of supporters at the rally in Ashkelon, eight miles north of the border,... More »

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