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Israel News for February 7, 2017

Regulation Bill Passes
Despite requests by the PM to postpone the vote, the Regulation Bill was passed by the Knesset by a vote of 60-52 yesterday. The vote was pushed through by Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett. The bill confiscates privately owned Palestinian land on which settlements are built, and offers the owners financial compensation or alternate land plots. The bill is expected to be challenged in the Supreme Court and struck down as contrary to international law.

PM Netanyahu denied trying to postpone the vote and claimed that he had updated the US administration about it to avoid surprising them.

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UK Meeting
PM Netanyahu and British PM Theresa May met in London yesterday. Prior to the meeting May said, “Britain remains a very strong, close friend of Israel, with lots of areas in which we already work together, such as science and trade, but also other areas like security.” She also said, “We remain committed to a two-state solution. It’s the best way of building stability, peace and prosperity in the future.”

While confirming Israel’s desire for peace, Netanyahu turned to the Iranian threat saying, “Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world, and it offers provocation after provocation. That’s why I welcome President Trump’s insistence of new sanctions against Iran. I think other nations should follow suit, certainly responsible nations.”

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IDF Strikes
IDF tanks and aircraft destroyed a total of six Hamas positions throughout the day Monday, after a rocket was fired toward the Hof Ashkelon area in the morning and Hamas forces opened fire on an IDF force working near the Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip in the evening.

PM Netanyahu commented on the incident saying, “I have instructed in no uncertain terms that we will respond to all shooting with heavy fire. That has been my policy over the last two years, since Protective Edge…Our policy is consistent and determined in our response.”

There were no reports of injuries or deaths from Hamas.

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Mail Terror
The police and Shin Bet have confiscated hundreds of postal packages that were bound for the West Bank and Gaza. The packages contained accessories that could be used either to create weapons or as devices in terror attacks. The items included drones, micro engines, concealed cameras, micro cameras, laser pointers, laser sights and other weapon parts. Most of the items were ordered from the internet, many from Ebay.

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Rabbinic Courts
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted on Sunday to approve a bill that would allow state run Rabbinical courts to rule in monetary cases. The Rabbinical courts currently only have jurisdiction over issues of Jewish identity and conversion, marriage and divorce, including financial settlement, and kashrut. The bill still needs to pass through several reading in the Knesset, but the committee approval means that it will have the support of the coalition.

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau praised the ministerial committee’s decision saying, “The proposed legislation that was approved today by the Committee for Legislation is right and proper. Many Jews want to have a judgment based on Torah and it doesn’t make sense that it is withheld from them.”

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