Israel's Ariel Zeevi (white) fights Germany's Dimitri Peters during 100kg judo match.
Israel's Ariel Zeevi (white) fights Germany's Dimitri Peters during their men's -100kg judo match of the London 2012 Olympic Games. August 2, 2012. Photo by AFP
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Three suspected al-Qaida members have been arrested in the south of Spain in possession of explosives, local media reported on Thursday, citing police sources. According to a report, at least one of the suspects is Turkish and the other two are apparently Chechens. At least one of the suspects was trained at a terrorist camp in Pakistan, according to Spanish media.

Former Mossad chief and national security adviser Ephraim Halevy told Israel Radio Thursday that if the Iranians "continue to play their games" in nuclear talks with world powers, they would be underestimating Israel's resolve. Halevy was quoted by the New York Times on Thursday saying that if he were Iranian he "would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks". His remarks came just after U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's visit to Israel, and amid circulating speculations of possible Israeli plans to strike Iran over its contentious nuclear program.

In Syria, rebels bombarded on Thursday a military air base in Aleppo using a tank captured from government troops as activists reported that the regime has unleashed new raids against opposition fighters near the capital Damascus, killing dozens.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured approval for his tax hikes and spending cuts by agreeing to cancel NIS 242 million in cutbacks that would have targeted ministries controlled by his coalition partners. Netanyahu and Steinitz reached deals with the Likud's coalition partners Shas and Atzmaut, as well as with Uri Ariel from the opposition National Union party.

Dozens of people gathered early Wednesday evening outside of the Israel Defense Forces' radio station building in Jaffa to protest its decision to broadcast a program from the West Bank settlement of Susya, near the city of Hebron. The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, which organized the protests, condemned the broadcast as a legitimization of occupation.

A third of all elementary school-children in Israel are ultra-Orthodox; among them, less than 60% study all the core education subjects required by the Education Ministry, statistics presented in the Knesset earlier this week show. The Education Ministry's core curriculum for Haredi elementary schools, unlike its lesson plan for non-Haredi elementary schools, doesn't include English-language instruction.

Israeli Judoka Arik Ze'evi was knocked out of the 100kg competition. Ze'evi signaled his concession after only 43 seconds, leaving the Israeli TV announcers, as well as, spectators and fans in shock. Ze'evi, 35, is one of Israel’s Olympic greats and without a doubt one of its most loved. He had tremendous achievements over the past decade.

Some 1.4 million travelers passed through Ben-Gurion International Airport in July, an increase of 4.5% over July 2011, and the numbers are likely to grow in August, Israel's Airports Authority said on Wednesday. The airport will be particularly crowded on Thursday, the first Thursday of the peak vacation month of August.