The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee on Wednesday approved a large construction project which will see the creation of a new Jewish neighborhood, comprising 2,600 new housing units, in the south of the city, over the Green Line.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help bring Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria's civil war into Palestinian territories, the official Wafa news agency reported on Wednesday.

Israel has approved a visit to the West Bank of the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, expecting him to offer financial aid to alleviate the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis. The visit will take place at the end of the month.

The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday indicted an 18-year-old Palestinian suspected of planting a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus during Operation Pillar of Defense last month. The suspect is a Palestinian residing in Israel as part of family reunification plan.

Lt. Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, a former Israeli minister and 15th Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff, died of cancer Monday at the age of 68. He is survived by his wife, journalist Tali Lipkin-Shahak, and five children.

 

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently criticized a Russian law that imposes restrictions on nongovernmental organizations, despite having tried for two years to pass similar legislation in Israel. Israel worries that the Russian law could affect the activities of overseas Jewish organizations.

Israel's Central Elections Committee is deliberating petitions to disqualify five political parties running for the 19th Knesset. The five parties are Balad, United Arab List (Ra'am)-Ta'al, Otzma Leyisrael, Shas, and United Torah Judaism.

 

Israeli Arab activist Rasool Saada is crisscrossing the country to encourage fellow Arab citizens to vote in the January 22 election, convinced they can make a difference. Israeli Arabs currently comprise about 20 percent of Israel's population.