The top 8 headlines you might have missed / Haaretz Newsline, March 5
From the attorney general's decision to investigate the legality of Netanyahu's promise to reserve the Foreign Ministry portfolio for Lieberman, to Interior Minister Eli Yishai's confirmation that Israel has repatriated over 2,000 migrants to Sudan, Haaretz brings you the top 8 headlines you might have missed.
The office of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said it will examine the legality of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's agreement with Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman to hold onto the Foreign Ministry portfolio for him until his corruption trial is over. The deal leaves Netanyahu in charge of foreign affairs until the trial's end.
Weinstein has also said that under no circumstances will Eritrean nationals in Israeli custody be sent “to any destination outside Israel’s borders” until he further clarifies the relevant legal issues. The attorney general's order was issued in response to a report Monday on Haaretz’s Hebrew website about the case of an Eritrean migrant whose “voluntary departure” from the country clearly went awry, resulting in the migrant's ongoing detention in Cairo.
A Republican and a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would make Israel a "major strategic ally," a one-of-a-kind designation. The bill is timed for the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, and it codifies a number of existing facets of the relationship, including annual defense assistance and cooperation on missile defense, energy research and cyber security.
A UN aid agency has canceled the marathon in Gaza following a ban on women runners imposed by the territory's militant Islamic Hamas rulers. UNRWA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced that "this disappointing decision follows discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women should participate" in the marathon.
A report in Yedioth Ahronoth stated that members in an unnamed party were involved in a vote-buying scheme and that evidence of the scandal was handed over Monday to police, who have begun investigating the matter. In reference to the report, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich named former Labor member and current Hatnuah MK Amir Peretz' involvement in scheme.
In a massive bust, police arrested 102 suspected members of four separate burglary rings, closing out a 10-month undercover operation that spanned several cities, including Tel Aviv, Netanya, Rishon Letzion, Rehovot and Ashdod. The operation was intended to increase Israeli residents' personal safety, which police felt had been threatened by an increase in home burglaries across the Sharon region.
Tel Avivans woke up early Tuesday morning to the sight of a severed goat head in the center of Dizengoff Square, next to a sign calling to "end animal slaughter." Residents also found severed heads of a cow and a sheep in several squares and fountains throughout the city, alongside signs and graffiti against animal slaughterhouses. Police are investigating what they believe is an act of provocation by animal rights activists.