Israeli forces opened fire near the Karni border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported on Thursday. Eight civilians were wounded, two of them seriously. According to Army Radio, the soldiers opened fire at armed Palestinians approaching the border crossing, despite the force's repeated warnings, in what the troops suspected was a bid to lay explosive devices at the compound.
An Israeli aircraft repeatedly violated the airspace of Turkish Cyprus earlier this week near the site of a controversial gas exploration field, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Thursday, citing Ankara military officials. The reported incident is just one in a long line of apparent scuffles between Israel, Cyprus, and Turkey over the rights to explore the eastern section of the Mediterranean for gas and oil.
Talks between Iran and world powers that will end in agreed-upon measures that would nonetheless allow Tehran to continue with military aspects of its nuclear program are "ridiculous," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview on Wednesday. Barak's comments, made during an interview with CNN's Peirce Morgan, came ahead of next week's round of P5+1 talks, due to take place in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Syrian forces began a fresh offensive in the rebellious province of Homs, on Thursday according to opposition activists. The shelling was targeting Al-Rastan city, a stronghold of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), said Rami Abdel Rahman, the spokesman for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Justice Ministry is working on a bill that is meant to increase the state’s ability to monitor Israeli citizen’s phone calls and e-mails, Haaretz learned. The bill represents an expansion of the government’s authority to obtain information from communications companies, which could include the ability to pinpoint cell phone locations, read text and e-mail messages, as well as track computer files.
Israel defense officials plan to recommend that the Yizkor text that was the subject of a dispute last year be officially included in Memorial Day services at military cemeteries. The dispute centered around whether the words "Yizkor Elohim" ("May God remember") or "Yizkor Am Yisrael" ("May the nation of Israel remember") should be used. In the end, the second version won out.
A senior Iranian official said on Thursday that Tehran could sue Google over dropping the name of the Persian Gulf on Google Maps. The threat comes after the famous search engine left the body of water between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula nameless on its online map service.
A New York literary agent who represents four playwrights to whom Israel’s national theater Habima owes money, has come out in harsh criticism of the theater, as well as the Israeli government. Tonda Marton says that Habima purchased copyrights of plays from her clients in order to translate them, but the theater still owes them a total of $160,000. When Marton failed to collect the money from Habima, she tried her luck with the Culture and Sports Ministry. Haaretz has obtained a letter that Marton wrote to the ministry, dated April 26, asking whether it was conceivable that the government would allow Habima, its national theater, to illegally hold foreign copyrights.
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