News in Brief

About 40 dunams (10 acres) of land in the Ramat Gan municipality, next to the Yarkon River, will become part of Hayarkon Park. The city recently approved a plan that would end the rental of the area by the Dan Public Transportation Company. "The decision not to renew the agreement with Dan - and in so doing make this enormous area green and blossoming - will make Hayarkon Park a world-class park in terms of size," Mayor Zvi Bar said. (Yigal Hai)

"There is no jihad against the courts, there is an entirely different jihad," Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann told the Knesset plenum yesterday. Friedmann was responding to two agenda motions over "judges who are threatening mass resignation." Meretz party chairman MK Yossi Beilin, a co-sponsor of the motions, said, "Not every justice minister could cause 19 judges to consider resigning." In response, Friedman said that "people sometimes talk about there being a jihad.... You have to see what is happening here, what the facts are." (Shahar Ilan)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak committed to evacuating the settler outpost Migron near Ramallah by August this year, the High Court of Justice stated yesterday at a hearing. Reviewing several petitions by peace activists for the outpost's evacuation, justices Dorit Beinisch, Yoram Danziger and Uzi Vogelman decided that the two politicians would be entitled to request an extension of the deadline if the settlers took substantial steps to leaving the premises of their own accord. (Yuval Yoaz)

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is trying to persuade a developer who received approval to build a hotel in the Timna Valley in the South to change the location to avoid spoiling the natural beauty of the site. Representatives from the SPNI and Prof. Alon Tal of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are to meet with the developer to discuss the possibility of building the new hotel in an area with existing tourism facilities, rather than on Sasgon Hill as planned. The Eilot Regional Council supports the original development plan and claims there is no realistic alternative to the Sasgon site. (Zafrir Rinat)

The National Planning and Construction Council has rejected the plan to build a quarry on Kotz Mountain, in the lower Galilee. The residents of the nearby communities Massad and Ilabun had fought against the plan. The northern Planning and Construction Committee had hoped to advance the project, but the council, after looking in vain for alternative quarry sites, dismissed it. The mountain side, which overlooks the Kinneret, had been earmarked as a recreation site under another plan. (Eli Ashkenazi)