Israel News for April 11, 2016

PA Arrests
The Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Services (GIS) arrested three Palestinians near Ramallah who were suspected of planning an attack Saturday night against Israelis. The GIS confiscated an M-16 and a nine millimeter hand gun from the men, who had mysteriously disappeared from their shared apartment in Ramallah a week and a half ago.

Hamas condemned the arrest, writing on its official website that it, ”reflects a rise in the frequency of security cooperation between the PA security forces and the occupation to abort the Palestinian Intifada and target the Palestinian resistance.”

Majid Faraj, the chief of the Palestinian General Intelligence, claimed back in December that his forces have arrested 100 Palestinians and prevented 200 attacks against Israelis during the recent wave of terror.

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Chinese Love
Leading Chinese investment company Fosun Group has signed an agreement with the shareholders of Ahava to fully acquire the Israeli Dead Sea cosmetics company for NIS 290 million ($77 million). The deal was signed last night at a special event at Jerusalem’s David Citadel Hotel, with many Israeli government officials in attendance.

The purchase is just one example of increased Chinese investment in Israel. Bosun’s CEO Liang Xinjun said, “We feel very confident about the market in Israel and continue to seek suitable investment opportunities in different areas in the country. We are glad to have succeeded in acquiring such a famous, strong and successful brand as Ahava under this mutually beneficial agreement. We will endeavor to extend the success of this brand to China and other countries.”

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Ancient Glaziers
An Israel Antiquities Authority excavation at the foot of Mount Carmel near Haifa has unearthed kilns (a type of oven) used to make glass. These kilns are roughly 1,600 years old (dating to the Late Roman period), and indicate that Israel was one of the foremost centers for glass production in the ancient world.

Yael Gorin-Rosen, head curator of the Israel Antiquities Authority Glass Department, explained, “This is a very important discovery with implications regarding the history of the glass industry both in Israel and in the entire ancient world. We know from historical sources dating to the Roman period that the Valley of Akko was renowned for the excellent quality sand located there, which was highly suitable for the manufacture of glass. Chemical analyses conducted on glass vessels from this period which were discovered in Europe and in shipwrecks in the Mediterranean have shown that the source of the glass is from our region. Now, for the first time, the kilns have been found where the raw material was manufactured that was used to produce this glassware.”

Looks like modern Israeli technology and ingenuity has a solid foundation to rest on.

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New Chief Rabbi
Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and former Chief Rabbi if Israel, announced that he will be retiring from his post next year when he reached the age of 80. That means that Tel Aviv will be looking for a new Chief Rabbi.

Most large cities in Israel have two chief rabbis, one representing the Ashkenazic community and the other the Sephardic, but since 2002, with the appointment of Rabbi Shlomo Amar (Sephardic), Tel Aviv has only had one. Rabbi Lau was appointed in 2005, after having serves as Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi from 1985 until 1993. Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai has made it clear that the tradition will continue and only one rabbi will be appointed as Tel Aviv chief.

Interestingly, the city doesn’t save any money by only having one chief rabbi. According to official records, Rabbi Lau has been earning a double salary. Apparently he’s been pulling a double workload. So it’s a good job. It’s also been the stepping stone to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel on many occasions.

The big question is whether the new chief rabbi will be Sephardic or Ashkenazic?

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Saudi Haircuts
Can a haircut affect a soccer game? Yup.

A soccer match in the Saudi professional soccer league was stopped by the referee in order to fix the haircuts of three players whose hairdos were not in accordance with Sharia law.

Apparently, the Mohawk style, where you shave the sides of your head leaving the hair on top, is prohibited by Sharia as being a “heretic hairstyle.” According to an Islamic fatwa, a person cannot cut one part of his hair but leave the other part of it untouched. He must either cut all his hair or leave all his hair untouched.

So during the game, the ref stopped play and pulled the three players aside, where they were examined by the proper authorities and then given quick trims by their trainers (or were they official team barbers?).

You gotta respect their commitment to their religious laws. Hey, at least they didn’t take any heads off, just some hair. And we have no idea whether the haircuts effected the score of the game.

To watch the video click here.