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Paritzky to Display Gay Flag in His Office

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Minister of National Infrastructure (Shinui) Yosef Paritzky announced yet another planned affront to the Jewish values of the state. The minister announced that this week, in honor of Gay Pride week, he intends to display the gay flag in his government office.


Israeli Sweeps West Bank for Hamas Members

By VOA News

Israeli security forces have arrested 150 suspected members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas during sweeps in the West Bank. IDF troops raided the town of Hebron early Tuesday, arresting 130 Palestinians hours after detaining 20 other suspected Hamas activists in Nablus.

Israel launched the raids as Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas waited for Hamas and other militant groups to decide whether they will agree to a ceasefire in their attacks on Israelis.

Israeli defense officials said Hamas has agreed in principle to a three-month ceasefire, but the deal has not been finalized. But Hamas said Israel launched Tuesday's West Bank raids in an attempt to sabotage chances of a truce.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said Washington would soon ask the European Union to outlaw the political wing of Hamas. The European Union considers the military and political wings of Hamas to be separate, while the United States lists the movement as a whole as a terrorist organization.

In another development, an Israeli court in Haifa charged five Israeli-Arab leaders of the Israeli Islamic Movement with illegally funneling millions of dollars to Hamas and with having contacts with Iranian intelligence agents.

The indicted men are members of the northern branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, including the group's leader and the mayor of an Israeli Arab town, Umm el-Fahm, where the movement is based. All five denied the allegations and said the charges against them were politically motivated.

Israeli police spokesman Gil Kleiman said the men are suspected of criminal offenses, including money laundering and funneling money to illegal organizations that support armed terrorist activities.

Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested outside the court. There are more than one million Israeli Arabs in Israel.

Also Tuesday, Israel's rabbis described as illegal and immoral their government's dismantling of Jewish outposts as called for in the internationally backed road map for peace. The rabbis say taking down such settlements and giving up land to Palestinians goes against Judaism's teachings.


Iraq: Pipeline to Israel No Longer Exists

By Reuters

An oil pipeline between Iraq and Israel - unused for decades - is in a state of ruin, Iraq's U.S.-appointed de facto oil minister said Tuesday. Thamir Ghadhban said the Mosul-Haifa pipeline had been disused since Israel was created in 1948 and most of its parts inside Jordan have been unearthed. "The pipeline does not exist anymore," Ghadhban told reporters.

In any case, a decision to sell Iraqi crude oil to Israel would be the responsibility of an Iraqi authority or government, he said. "This is a political decision which is not of my affair and has to be taken by politicians."

Ghadhban denied giving an interview to Ma'ariv on the sidelines of a recent economic meeting in Jordan. The paper said on Monday that Baghdad would not use the old pipeline to sell oil to Israel, attributing the statement to Ghadhban.

Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that reopening the pipeline was "not a pipe-dream" and was just a matter of time and that the government was in the early stages of looking into the possibility of reopening the pipeline.


Author Leon Uris Dead at 78

By VOA News

Author Leon Uris, a high school dropout who rose to write the million-selling book Exodus, has died in New York. His ex-wife said the 78-year-old writer died Saturday of natural causes.

Exodus, published in 1958, was an international sensation. The 600-page book chronicled European Jewry from the start of the 20th century to the founding of Israel in 1948.

The book was translated into dozens of languages and was circulated secretly in Communist countries.

Uris, whose father emigrated from Eastern Europe, once told the Associated Press he failed English three times and never finished high school. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.

His first novel, Battle Cry, was published in 1953. Other writings included Trinity, an epic best seller about Ireland, and Mila 18, the World War II story of a Jewish uprising in Poland's Warsaw ghetto.


24-Hour Israeli Music TV Station to Be Launched in July

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Music 24 will become next month the first Israeli all-music TV station, giving local musicians a chance to be seen while being heard Ha'aretz reported.

Guy Behar, the CEO of Music Channel 24, and Amir Golan, the station's marketing director, described the new television station as "a quiet revolution." On July 20, the station will begin broadcasting Israeli music 24 hours a day, which translates into hundreds of clips each week.

In the last decade, many video clips were shot, but since there was no place to screen them, they remained on the recording companies' shelves. "Our biggest surprise was that there are loads of clips," Behar said. "Contrary to popular belief, many clips were filmed, and they're awaiting redemption.


Arab Boycott of Israel at Special Olympics

By IsraelNationalNews.com

While some Israeli leaders continue to speak of the new Middle East, and living in peace with their neighbors, Israeli athletes at the Special Olympics in Ireland are getting a taste of the true feeling of the Jewish state's Arab neighbors.

Saudi Arabia's soccer team decided to boycott a match against Israel because the Arab countries participating in the sporting event are refusing to play against Israel.


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