Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Likud primary, January 31, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Likud primary, January 31, 2012. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
Text size

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he intends on setting into motion a new law that would include mandatory civilian national service for Israeli Arabs. The statement came after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened on Saturday that a vote on a replacement of the Tal Law, which allows full-time yeshiva students to defer national service, would decide the date of Israel's elections.

Likud sources said on Saturday that Israel's national elections are likely to be held between September and November. Anticipating the coming elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already meeting strategic advisers and survey experts, a political source said. "Netanyahu's associates are pressing him to push up the elections," the source said.

The Israeli cabinet unanimously approved on Sunday a proposal to erect temporary housing for residents of the illegal West Bank outpost of Migron, which would allow for the outpost's evacuation by July 15. The High Court of Justice last month ordered the state to evacuate the illegal West Bank outpost and dismantle it by August, after rejecting an agreement between the settlers and state to defer the evacuation by three years.

Legal figures expressed surprise that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had thrown his support behind Prime Minister Netanyahu's move to oppose the demolition of the structures built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.

A day after last week's unilateral announcement by Egypt's state-owned natural gas company that it was canceling its contract with Israel, a senior official from the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem was dispatched to Cairo. In the course of the visit, the Israeli official met with his Egyptian government counterparts and discussed the gas contract. He returned to Israel several hours later.

Tel Aviv Police arrested a suspect in the arson attack against multiple targets in south Tel Aviv's Shapira neighborhood, that took place last Thursday. 20-year-old Chaim Mola, a resident of the neighborhood, is suspected of having thrown four firebombs at apartments and a kindergarten used by the local community of African asylum seekers. On Sunday, police extended his detention by four days.

Iran  expressed hope on Sunday that the dispute over its controversial nuclear program would be settled at a May meeting with six world powers in Baghdad. Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi told a press conference in Tehran, "[The April nuclear meeting in] Istanbul was the beginning for ending the nuclear dispute and we hope to put a total end to the case in the ... future," according to the ISNA news agency.