March 2009 Headlines

Shalit Issue Tops Israeli Cab Meeting - JERUSALEM, Israel - Kidnapped Israel Defense Forces Cpl. Gilad Shalit topped the agenda at outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's last Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

PA Disbands Youth Orchestra

JENIN, West Bank - Officials in the Palestinian Authority- (PA) controlled city of Jenin disbanded a youth orchestra for performing before elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors.

IDF Wraps Up Gaza Op Investigations - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrapped up investigations alleging misconduct on the part of IDF troops during the three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Steinitz to Head Finance Ministry - JERUSALEM, Israel - Member of Knesset (MK ) Yuval Steinitz (Likud) received the coveted Finance Ministry in the new government of Binyamin Netanyahu.

IDF Kills Two Terrorists Planting Bomb

KISSUFIM, Israel - An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) helicopter gunship fired on a four-man terror cell approaching the security fence near the Kissufim crossing with the Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning.

Shin Bet Chief: Arms Smuggling Goes On - GAZA STRIP - Shin Bet (General Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin said arms smuggling has continued unabated in the two months following Israel's three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Shalit Issue Tops Last Cabinet Meeting

JERUSALEM, Israel - Kidnapped Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit topped the agenda at outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's last Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Arab League Convenes Doha Summit

DOHA, Qatar - Leaders from the 22 member nations of the Arab League began a summit on Monday in Qatar.

'Iron Dome' Rocket Defense on Target - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel's 'Iron Dome' rocket defense system performed well in its most recent test, the Defense Ministry announced Thursday evening.

PMO: Palestinians Spinning Shalit Talks - JERUSALEM, Israel - Talk of a breakthrough in negotiations for the release of captured Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cpl. Gilad Shalit are nothing more than Arab media spin, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Clinton: Continue Reaching Out to Iran - JERUSALEM, Israel - Despite Iran's sworn goal to wipe the State of Israel off the map, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton affirmed the Obama administration's plan to continue reaching out to the Islamic Republic.

Barkat Speaks Out on J'lem - NEW YORK CITY - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is meeting with American Jewish leaders, businessmen, investors and politicians this week in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.

CBS: IAF Targeted Sudanese Convoy - JERUSALEM, Israel - Sudanese government officials confirmed a CBS News report on an air strike targeting a weapons convoy in January, according to Reuters news service.

Jewish Home Party Joins Gov't. - JERUSALEM, Israel - Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) became the fifth party to join the government led by Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu.

Haifa Gets Ready for Electric Cars - HAIFA, Israel - The northern Israeli port city of Haifa is laying the groundwork to accommodate electric cars in the not-too-distant future.

Netanyahu a 'Partner for Peace' - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu is as interested in peace as anyone else.

Police Enter Malls with Fake Bombs - HAIFA, Israel - Following Saturday evening's unsuccessful attempt for a massive terror bombing at Haifa's Lev Hamifratz mall, undercover police tested the security at three area malls on Tuesday.

IDF Foils Terror Attack near Nablus - JERUSALEM, Israel - Following a Molotov cocktail attack on an Israeli vehicle Tuesday night, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) troops picked up three Arabs near Nablus armed with a bomb, weapons and area maps.

Hamas Charges Fayyad with 'Collaboration' - GAZA STRIP - The Hamas terror group plans to file charges against Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for collaborating with Israel and squandering public monies.

Arabs Indicted for Attempted Murder - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Jerusalem District Attorney's office indicted three Israeli Arabs for attempted murder, with a fourth accomplice to be charged separately, following a February attack on an American Jewish exchange student.

'Cast Lead Death Ratio an Achievement' - JERUSALEM, Israel - IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Major General Yoav Galant, chief of the Southern Command, said few armies could have matched Israel's ratio of terrorists to civilians killed in Operation Cast Lead.

Scientists Watch Huge Star Explode - REHOVOT, Israel - Researchers at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and their U.S. counterparts at San Diego University watched the largest ever star observed to date explode.

Troops Behaved 'Ethically and Morally' - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Lt.-General Gabi Ashkenazi responded to the recent media assault alleging war crimes during Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Labor Party to Join Netanyahu Gov't. - TEL AVIV, Israel - Labor party delegates voted late Tuesday to join a national unity government led by Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu.

Egypt Seizes TNT, Cement, Sheep - RAFAH BORDER CROSSING - Egyptian border police seized a half ton of TNT and five tons of cement hidden near the border with the Gaza Strip, ready to be smuggled through border tunnels.

Shas Joins Likud-led Gov't. - JERUSALEM, Israel - The ultra-Orthodox Shas party signed an agreement with the Likud-led government Sunday evening, becoming the second party to join the coalition.

Olmert Warns against Joining Gov't. - JERUSALEM, Israel - In what appeared to be a parting shot at Defense Minister and Labor chairman Ehud Barak, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned against joining Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu's government.

Saudi Clerics: Ban Women, Music - RIYAD, Saudi Arabia - Saudi clerics want women banned from appearing on television, newspapers or magazines; they also want music banned from television.

Reda to Attend Treaty Ceremonies - JERUSALEM, Israel - Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Yasser Reda will attend ceremonies commemorating the 30th anniversary of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Attack Averted at Haifa Mall - HAIFA, Israel - Alert civilians helped avert a major terror attack Saturday evening at a busy mall in the Israeli port city of Haifa.

Iranian Defector Tells it All - JERUSALEM, Israel - A former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard told U.S. Intelligence agencies that Iran financed North Korean efforts to advance Syrian nuclear arms program.

J'lem Mayor Tackles Illegal Homes - JERUSALEM, Israel - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat inherited a wide range of thorny issues, including illegally built homes in east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Egyptian Envoy Snubs Anniversary - JERUSALEM, Israel - Egyptian Ambassador Yasser Reda is awaiting instructions from Cairo regarding his attendance at a 30th anniversary celebration of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

Obama to Iran: Let's Work Together - U.S. President Barack Obama issued a videotaped message, with Farsi subtitles, urging Iranian leaders seeking "engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

Moshe Katsav Indicted on Rape Charges

TEL AVIV - Israel's State Prosecutor has officially indicted Moshe Katsav, Israel's former president, on a number of charges including two counts of rape, forcibly performing indecent acts and sexual harassment.

Israel Arrests Hamas W. Bank Leaders - JERUSALEM - In a joint raid conducted by Israeli Defense forces and the Shin Bet , at least 10 Hamas political leaders in Judea and Samaria were arrested early Thursday.

Hamas Ends Shalit Talks

JERUSALEM, Israel - The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has declared an end to Egyptian-brokered talks with Israel concerning the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit.

Netanyahu Woos Labor

JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel's Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has not given up on forming a broad unity coalition government and is now focusing his efforts on the Labor party, headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

EU Mulls Durban II Boycott - JERUSALEM, Israel - Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, told reporters on Monday that the EU may boycott the upcoming Durban II conference.

Dahlan to Hamas: 'Don't Recognize Israel' - RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Fatah activist Mohammed Dahlan advised his Hamas counterparts to stick by their refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, which Fatah also embraces.

Israel Releases Terrorist Names - JERUSALEM, Israel - When the latest round of negotiations for the release of captured IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Gilad Shalit failed, the government decided to publicize the names and records of Palestinian prisoners being negotiated with Hamas.

Durban II Organizers Tweak Resolution - GENEVA - The organizers of the UN-sponsored Durban II anti-racism conference announced on Tuesday that they deleted some of the anti-Israel sections from the draft resolution.

Russia to Supply Missile Defense to Iran - JERUSALEM, Israel - Russian news agencies confirmed that Russia has signed a deal to sell S-300 air-defense missiles to Iran.

Hamas Rejects Prisoner Swap - JERUSALEM, Israel - Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert briefed Cabinet ministers Tuesday on the failed prisoner swap talks with Hamas for the release of IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Netanyahu Meets with NGOs - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu told representatives of 30 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that he would work with them during these trying economic times.

Military Option Open for Iran - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Lt.-General Gabi Ashkenazi told U.S. defense officials that a military option to the Iranian nuclear threat remains on the table.

Terrorists Murder Two Policemen - Two Israeli policemen were shot to death while patrolling Route 90 in the Jordan Valley.

PM Postpones Cabinet Session on Shalit - JERUSALEM, Israel - Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert postponed Monday's Cabinet meeting to discuss the latest developments in the Egyptian-mediated prisoner swap for captive IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Orthodox Rabbis: Shun El Al - JERUSALEM, Israel - Haredi rabbis advised ultra-Orthodox Israelis not to fly with El Al, the country's national airlines.

PA Unity Talks Collapsing, Again - CAIRO - The latest round of Egyptian-sponsored coalition negotiations between rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, are nearing collapse less than four days into the scheduled 10 days of meetings.

Iran Danger Sends IDF Chief to D.C. - JERUSALEM, Israel - With Iran topping the agenda, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Chief of General Staff Lt.-General Gabi Ashkenazi left Thursday for talks with U.S. officials.

Muslims: Criminalize Defamation of Islam - GENEVA - Representatives of Islamic states have proposed a resolution criminalizing defamation of Islam.

Appeasement Fuels Sharia Acceptance - JERUSALEM, Israel - Pakistan's recent deal with the Taliban allowing Sharia (Islamic) law in the Swat Valley, about 80 miles from the capital of Islamabad, is becoming an increasingly typical phenomenon.

Egypt Back to Two-Stage Shalit Plan - CAIRO - Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman led closed-door negotiations on Wednesday for a two-stage prisoner swap for the release of IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Cpl. Gilad Shalit, kidnapped on June 25, 2006.

Clinton Tells PA to Recognize Israel or No Aid - JERUSALEM, Israel - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Congress will not approve the $900 million in aid pledged to a Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government unless it agrees to recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce terrorism and accept previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

British MP Meets with Hamas Chief - GAZA STRIP - British parliamentarian George Galloway held a "secret" meeting with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, The Associated Press reported.

Saudis: 40 Lashes for 75-Year Old - CAIRO - A Saudi judge has sentenced a 75-year old widow to 40 lashes, four months in prison and deportation after serving time.

Marzouk Changes Video Story

JERUSALEM, Israel - Damascus-based Hamas Deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk changed an earlier report alleging that he received a letter and videotape of captured IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Haniyeh Beats Abbas in Poll - RAMALLAH, West Bank - The latest poll conducted by a Palestinian group shows that Gaza-based Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh would beat Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas if elections were held today.

Rivlin to Return as Knesset Speaker - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Likud party nominated MK (member of Knesset) Reuven Rivlin for Knesset speaker, subject to parliamentary vote.

Latter Rains Saves Orchards - UPPER GALILEE, Israel - Plentiful late winter rains saved apple and cherry orchards in the north from being uprooted.

IDF Imposes Closure for Purim Holiday - JERUSALEM, Israel - The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) imposed a closure on Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), which went into effect Sunday evening at midnight, ahead of the Purim holiday.

Hamas Deputy: Videotape of Gilad Shalit - DAMASCUS, Syria - Damascus-based Hamas deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk said he was given a videotape of kidnapped IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Cpl. Gilad Shalit during his visit to the Gaza Strip at the end of last month.

PA Arrests Hamas Agents near Ramallah - RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Palestinian Authority (PA) said they uncovered a network of security officers recruited by Hamas to deliver intelligence information.

Former President Faces Rape Charge - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announced Sunday that he will indict former President Moshe Katsav on charges of rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.

PA President Seeks Unity Gov't. - RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip to form a unity government.

Israel Slams UK's Hezbollah Talks - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli officials condemned the British government's decision to open talks with the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group.

Congress Must Approve Palestinian Aid - JERUSALEM, Israel - A big chunk of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's $900 million pledge to the Palestinian Authority (PA) will have to be approved by Congress.

Italy Won't Attend Durban II - JERUSALEM, Israel - Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said his country will not attend the Durban II conference because of the "aggressive and anti-Semitic statements" in the draft document, which describe Israel as a racist, occupying nation.

Israelis Gearing Up for Purim - JERUSALEM, Israel - With less than a week before Purim, Israelis are gearing up to enjoy the holiday festivities.

Bulldozer Terrorist Killed in Jerusalem - JERUSALEM, Israel - A Palestinian terrorist driving a bulldozer was shot and killed today on a busy street in Jerusalem. The driver rammed the bulldozer into an empty bus and a police car.

J'lem Mayor Clarifies Demolitions - JERUSALEM, Israel - The Jerusalem municipality called media response to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement on Palestinian home demolitions "disinformation and the cynical exploitation" of her visit.

Police: Indict Olmert - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Police National Fraud Unit is recommending a third indictment against outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Britain Open to Meet with Hezbollah - LONDON - Britain announced its willingness to meet with Iranian proxy Hezbollah, citing Lebanon's formation of a unity government last May, which includes the terror group.

IAF Targets Terror Cell, Three Killed - GAZA STRIP - On Thursday, the IAF (Israel Air Force) targeted a Palestinian terror cell, killing two gunmen and injuring two others.

Iran, Qatar Boost Hezbollah's Coffers - BEIRUT, Lebanon - Iran donated an estimated $600 million to Hezbollah, its Lebanese-based proxy, to bolster the terror group's bid for more power in the upcoming June elections.

Khamenei: Obama on 'Wrong Path' - TEHERAN, Iran - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said U.S. President Barack Obama's "unconditional" support of Israel is taking him down the same "wrong path" as the previous U.S. administration.

Two Jordanians Indicted for Murder Plot

AMMAN, Jordan - Two Jordanians have been indicted on charges of planning to murder an Israeli factory owner in the city of Irbid.

Arab MKs Walk Out of Knesset - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Arab members of Knesset (MKs) walked out of the plenum on Monday as MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) walked to the podium.

Hamas Claims 'New Letter' from Shalit - GAZA STRIP - Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior member of the Hamas terror group, claims to have a new letter from imprisoned Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Corporal Gilad Shalit.

Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah Ties Closer - TEL AVIV, Israel - Senior Israeli Defense official Major General (res.) Amos Gilad said ties between Hamas and its two proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, are closer than ever.

EU Fails to Document Anti-Semitism - JERUSALEM, Israel - A new report claims that most European countries fail to document anti-Semitic incidents in their respective nations.

Clinton Meets Israeli Leaders in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM -- In her first visit to the Mideast, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke about sending envoys to Syria for "preliminary conversations."

Olmert Facing Several Indictments - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz plans to file an indictment against outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the case involving U.S. businessman Morris Talansky.

Nearly $3 Billion Pledged for Gaza - CAIRO, Egypt - Representatives of more than 70 countries are meeting in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh Monday to pool their resources to reconstruct buildings in the Gaza Strip damaged during Israel's three-week military operation.

Knesset Christian Caucus Expands Vision - JERUSALEM, Israel - Member of Knesset (MK) David Rotem, newly appointed chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC), hopes to expand the work of the five-year-old committee.

Haifa Appoints Female Police Chief - HAIFA, Israel - For the first time in the nation's history, a woman has been appointed commander of a major police station.