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Israeli court overhaul: Arrests, strikes and economic troubles follow pivotal vote

(JTA) — A major highway was blocked until 1 a.m., protesters were hosed down and arrested, Israelis woke up to see their newspapers shrouded in black, doctors are on strike and the shekel lost value — all in response to the Knesset’s vote to weaken Israel’s Supreme Court.

The legislation passed by Israel’s right-wing government on Monday barred the court from striking down laws it deems “unreasonable,” and has been characterized by both supporters and opponents as the first piece of a larger plan to sap the Supreme Court’s power and influence. That overhaul sparked an ongoing protest movement that has seen hundreds of thousands of Israelis take to the streets.

Those protests continued Monday night, with large crowds gathering in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In both places, police took forceful measures to disperse the demonstrations, which blocked major highways in both cities. In Jerusalem, police officers sprayed skunk water at the protesters while in Tel Aviv, where the highway was blocked with barricades and bonfires into the early morning, they used water cannons and mounted police to clear the crowd.

Dozens of protesters were arrested and several were injured, including three who were hit by a car that drove through a crowd of protesters in the city of Kfar Saba. Police said 13 officers were injured in the clashes as well.

The headlines of the newspapers in Israel at a shop in Jerusalem, July 25, 2023, a day after the “reasonableness” bill passed in the Knesset. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

On Tuesday morning, a group organized by employees of Israel’s tech sector bought front-page ads in several major Israeli newspapers, covering them with black rectangles in protest of the legislation. Text in the bottom corner of the rectangles read, “A dark day for Israeli democracy.” As the day went on, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and shekel lost value and at least one credit agency downgraded its rating of Israel.

The Israel Medical Association, which had set up a tent to aid protesters in Jerusalem on Monday, announced that doctors and nurses would be going on strike on Tuesday in protest of the recently passed law. In practice, the strike meant that Israel’s health care system worked on weekend hours, with emergency rooms and some other institutions operating normally. But in the afternoon, a labor court ordered the medical professionals to end the strike.


The post Israeli court overhaul: Arrests, strikes and economic troubles follow pivotal vote appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Hamas Fires Missiles at Tel Aviv for First Time in Months

An Israeli police officer stands next to the remains of a rocket after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas, in Herzliya, Israel May 26 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias

Hamas launched missiles at Tel Aviv on Sunday, setting off sirens in Israel’s financial center for the first time in four months, as the Islamist Palestinian terror group sought to show military strength despite Israel’s Gaza offensive.

The Israeli military said eight projectiles were identified crossing from the area of Rafah, the southern tip of the Gaza Strip where Israel kept up operations despite a ruling by the top U.N. court on Friday ordering it to stop attacking the city.

A number of the projectiles were intercepted, it said. There were no reports of casualties.

In a statement on its Telegram channel, the Hamas al-Qassam Brigades said the rockets were launched in response to “Zionist massacres against civilians.”

Rafah is located about 100 km (60 miles) south of Tel Aviv.

Israel says it wants to root out Hamas fighters holed up in Rafah and rescue hostages it says are being held in the area.

On Sunday, Israeli strikes killed at least five Palestinians in Rafah, according to local medical services. The Gaza health ministry identified the dead as civilians.

Israeli tanks have probed around the edges of Rafah, near the crossing point from Gaza into Egypt, and have entered some of its eastern districts, residents say, but have not yet entered the city in force since the start of operations in the city earlier this month.

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz said the rockets fired from Rafah “prove that the (Israel Defense Forces) must operate in every place Hamas still operates from.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held an operational assessment in Rafah where he was briefed on “troops’ operations above and below the ground, as well as the deepening of operations in additional areas with the aim of dismantling Hamas battalions,” his office said in a statement.

Itamar Ben Gvir, a hardline public security minister who is not part of Israel’s war cabinet, urged the army to hit Rafah harder. “Rafah with full force,” he posted on X.

Israel began its operations targeting Hamas in Gaza after the Palestinian terrorist group invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7, murdered 1,200 people, and abducted over 250 hostages.

Fighting also continued in the northern Gaza area of Jabaliya, the scene of intense combat earlier in the war. During one raid, the military said it found a weapons storage site with dozens of rocket parts and weapons at a school.

It denied Hamas statements that Palestinian fighters had abducted an Israeli soldier.

Hamas media said an Israeli airstrike on a house in a neighborhood near Jabaliya killed 10 people and wounded others.

TRUCE TALKS

Efforts to agree a halt to the fighting and return more than 120 hostages have been blocked for weeks but there were some signs of movement this weekend following meetings between Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials and Qatar’s prime minister.

An official with knowledge of the matter said a decision had been taken to resume the talks this week based on new proposals from Egyptian and Qatari mediators, and with “active U.S. involvement.”

However, a Hamas official played down the report, telling Reuters: “It is not true.”

A second Hamas official, Izzat El-Reshiq, said the group had not received anything from the mediators on new dates for resuming talks as had been reported by Israeli media.

Reshiq restated Hamas’s demands, which include: “Ending the aggression completely and permanently, in all of Gaza Strip, not only Rafah.”

While Israel is seeking the return of hostages, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said the war will not end until Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, is eliminated.

AID TRUCKS ENTER GAZA

Khaled Zayed of the Egyptian Red Crescent told Reuters 200 trucks of aid, including four fuel trucks, were expected to enter Gaza on Sunday through Kerem Shalom.

It follows an agreement between U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday to temporarily send aid via the Kerem Shalom crossing, bypassing the Rafah crossing that has been blocked for weeks.

Egypt’s state-affiliated Al Qahera News TV shared a video on social media platform X, showing what it said were aid trucks as they entered Kerem Shalom, which before the conflict was the main commercial crossing station between Israel, Egypt and Gaza.

The Rafah crossing has been shut for almost three weeks, since Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the crossing as it stepped up its offensive.

Egypt has been increasingly alarmed at the prospect of large numbers of Palestinians entering its territory from Gaza and has refused to open its side of the Rafah crossing.

Israel has said it is not restricting aid flows and has opened up new crossing points in the north as well as cooperating with the United States, which has built a temporary floating pier for aid deliveries.

The post Hamas Fires Missiles at Tel Aviv for First Time in Months first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle

In this pamphlet, the country of Jordan is billed as the “The Holy Land”. This material introduced visitors to the Kingdom of Jordan pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Ironically, the motto of the fair was “Peace Through Understanding”.  It describes a pavilion that includes a “photographic survey of the Holy […]

The post Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police

Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, located near the Finch and Dufferin intersection in Toronto, had shots fired in its direction Saturday at 4:52 a.m. The incident was captured on a security video. The suspects can be seen getting out of a dark-coloured vehicle and opening fire on the school, which serves the Hasidic community with […]

The post A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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