The top 8 headlines you may have missed / Haaretz Newsline, June 19
From Hamas firing rockets toward south Israel to a nuclear talk Iranian ultimatum; Haaretz.com sums up the latest top headlines from Israel, the Middle east, and the Jewish World.
The military wing of Hamas fired rockets toward Israel overnight Monday and on Tuesday. There were no reported casualties or damage. The rocket fire marks an unusual move for the group, which has been avoiding launching rockets toward Israel for many months now. Following the attack, communities near the Gaza border were put on heightened alert.
Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar sent a letter to hundreds of Orthodox rabbis in Israel calling on them to object to the state's intention to recognize and fund Reform and Conservative rabbis in towns around the country. Amar's goal is to persuade Israel's political leaders to foil implementation of the High Court's ruling on the matter.
Iran warned on Tuesday that Western sanctions against the country's oil exports must be lifted and that their right to a civilian nuclear program recognized, or else Tehran could break off negotiations. Iran's delegation to the nuclear talks said a negative response would mean "the end of the negotiations in its current configuration."
Syria's government said Tuesday it was ready to act on a UN call to evacuate civilians who are trapped in the rebellious central city of Homs for over a week, but blamed rebels for obstructing efforts to do so. Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, chief of the UN observer mission in Syria, asked both sides to allow safe passage to women, children and sick people.
Author of “The Color Purple” Alice Walker refused to authorize a Hebrew translation of her prize-winning work, calling Israel an "apartheid state." Walker said she supported the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and offered her hope that the BDS movement “will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”
A mosque in the West Bank village of Jab'a, located south of Ramallah, was set on fire and vandalize in a suspected "price tag" attack early Tuesday morning. A joint investigation by Shin Bet, Israel Police and the IDF had begun.
The National Building and Planning Council will consider exempting the construction of refugee camps in the south from almost all planning regulations. The Defense Ministry says the move, together with other proposed changes in the plans, are intended "to meet the tight schedule to implement the cabinet's decision" to build the camp for African refugees crossing the Egyptian border into Israel.
A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 88 days ended his fast Monday, after the Israeli authorities agreed to release him on July 10, Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqi said.