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Netanyahu slams UN rights council's censure of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed a UN rights body for a string of resolutions condemning the Jewish state despite a wave of rights abuses elsewhere in the region. "At the end of last week, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel five times, at a time when the slaughter in Syria is continuing, innocent people are being hung in the Middle East and human rights are being eroded," he told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Israel spy agency says 8 Iranian Jews 'murdered' in 1990s

Israel's spy agency Mossad has concluded eight Iranian Jews who had tried to emigrate to Israel in the 1990s were murdered en route, the prime minister's office said on Friday. The announcement came as Iran marked the Persian New Year, and as Israel chided Western powers for negotiating with the Jewish state's arch-foe Tehran. Mossad "has brought to a conclusion the affair regarding the Iranian Jews who have been missing since the 1990's," Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

The movement to boycott Israel will fail

The international movement to boycott Israel will fail and will not stop the Jewish state from becoming an economic powerhouse, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday. "The movement is nothing but a farce. It will fail," he told delegates at the annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, referring to the so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. hmw/dc

Israel's ultra-Orthodox plan huge anti-draft protest

Jerusalem braced for a mass protest Sunday by ultra-Orthodox Jews enraged over plans to conscript their young men for Israeli military service. Police said "hundreds of thousands" were likely to attend the demonstration alongside the main road in and out of the city and that there would be major disruption of traffic. "Police have completed security preparations for huge demonstration this afternoon at entrance of Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands expected," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld wrote on Twitter.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews battle Israel police over the draft

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews battled police across Israel on Thursday in a wave of protests against their young men being called up for military service. Police said that around 3,000 protestors blocked main roads in Jerusalem, the ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, the southern city of Ashdod and towns in central Israel. An AFP photographer in Jerusalem said police fired water cannon at demonstrators who danced in the deluge.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews battle Israel police over the draft

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews battled police across Israel on Thursday in a wave of protests against their young men being called up for military service. Police said that around 3,000 protestors blocked main roads in Jerusalem, the ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, the southern city of Ashdod and towns in central Israel. An AFP photographer in Jerusalem said police fired water cannon at demonstrators who danced in the deluge.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews battle Israel police over the draft

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews battled police across Israel on Thursday in a wave of protests against their young men being called up for military service. Police said that around 3,000 protestors blocked main roads in Jerusalem, the ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, the southern city of Ashdod and towns in central Israel. An AFP journalist in Jerusalem said police fired water cannon at demonstrators who danced in the deluge. They carried placards reading "Stop the ultra-Orthodox draft" and "Only in Israel is Bible study a criminal offence", she said.

Merkel to visit Israel end-February

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Israel for bilateral talks at the end of February, accompanied by a number of her ministers, a spokesman said on Friday. The visit will take place February 24 and 25, spokesman Georg Streiter told a regular news briefing, without revealing a detailed agenda. Germany and Israel have held regular "government consultations" since 2008, an arrangement where the two sides meet at regular intervals to discuss specific topics.

African asylum seekers protest Israel detention laws

More than 10,000 African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally through Egypt staged a protest in Tel Aviv on Sunday, denouncing the Jewish state's long-term detention of illegal immigrants. Demonstrators sharply criticised the authorities' refusal to give them refugee status and their detention of several hundred asylum seekers. "We are all refugees" and "yes to freedom, no to prison!" they chanted in English, with Israeli rights activists also joining the march.

Factbox: Wagner still controversial in Israel

(Reuters) - The following are some details about the controversy in Israel surrounding Wagner's music: * BACKGROUND: - Israel has unofficially banned Richard Wagner's music for decades. For many, especially Holocaust survivors, his works carry echoes of Nazi Germany's slaughter of six million Jews during World War Two. - Hitler's theories of racial purity and exterminating Jews were partly drawn from Wagner's anti-Semitic writings.
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