The Top 8 Headlines You Might Have Missed / Haaretz Newsline, January 31

From the UN making its first call ever for sanctions on Israel over West Bank settlements, to a senior Egyptian official close to President Morsi calling the Holocaust a myth, Haaretz brings you the top stories you might have missed.

A UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission on Thursday released its harshest report over Israeli policy in the West Bank since 1967, urging governments and private corporations across the world to consider economic and political sanctions against Israel over its construction in the settlements. This is the first time such a call has been made from within the United Nations.

Iran has informed the United Nations nuclear agency that it plans to use more modern uranium enrichment centrifuges at its Natanz plant, according to a document made available to Reuters on Thursday.

Residents of the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar woke up last week to find a surprising letter in their mailboxes. The anonymous author sought to draw their attention to a theft of land by Avri Ran, founder of the Givot Olam outpost and the patron saint of the “hilltop youth.” After 17 years of lauding Ran as a hero for his agricultural enterprise, Itamar residents discovered that those who didn’t cry out when he expropriated Arab lands had just become his next victims.

A top Egyptian official close to President Mohammed Morsi reportedly referred to the Holocaust as a “myth”, in a 2010 article published by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has urged President Shimon Peres to find a solution to the law requiring yeshiva students to be drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, warning it would cause a rift in the nation.

Chuck Hagel will face tough questions on Pentagon spending cuts and U.S. relations with Israel and Iran on Thursday as he faces a deeply skeptical Senate panel considering his nomination to be President Barack Obama's next secretary of defense.


Rain and snow descended across Israel this week, after a few weeks of unseasonably warm and pleasant weather. That lull in winter temperatures had followed one of the stormiest weeks in Israel history.

The management of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will decide soon whether to postpone its return to the Mann Auditorium ‏ (Heichal Hatarbut‏) in Tel Aviv by a few weeks.