IS­RAEL: 7 DAYS IN 5 MIN­UTES

ALL THE WEEK’S NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS -

NEWS

THE UNITED States wants to hold a peace sum­mit at the Egyp­tian re­sort of Sharm -el-Sheikh as part of Pres­i­dent Bush’s visit to Is­rael next month for the 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. US diplo­mats see the meet­ing as a con­tin­u­a­tion of the process be­gun in the An­napo­lis con­fer­ence last year. Tony Blair, Mikhail Gor­bachev, Ru­pert Mur­doch and Bar­bra Streisand — who will per­form the Av­inu Malkeinu prayer — are also ex­pected to visit Is­rael for the cel­e­bra­tions.

IS­RAELI PRIME Min­is­ter Ehud Olmert met Pales­tinian pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas in Jerusalem for their first talks in nearly two months. Mr Ab­bas had bro­ken off their talks af­ter an IDF in­cur­sion into Gaza last month to com­bat Kas­sam fire in which some 120 Pales­tini­ans, in­clud­ing many civil­ians, were killed.

THREE IS­RAELI youths were ar­rested in Ja­pan af­ter what lo­cal po­lice called “an un­prece­dented amount” of drugs were found hid­den in their suit­cases. Their lawyer said that the youths — one of whom is un­der 18 — were re­cruited by a man who of­fered to pay for their tick­ets if they flew to Am­s­ter­dam where they would be given a suit­case full of “an­cient ar­ti­facts” to take to Ja­pan.

FOR­MER US pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter is to visit Syria this month and hold meet­ings with ex­iled Ha­mas leader Khaled Mashaal, ac­cord­ing to re­ports in the Lon­don-based Al-Hayat news­pa­per. The re­ports were not im­me­di­ately de­nied by the for­mer pres­i­dent’s of­fice.

TWO MEM­BERS of the Pales­tinian Olympic team have been al­lowed to travel be­tween the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem in a rare eas­ing of re­stric­tions so they can pre­pare for the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics. Run­ner Nader Masri, from the Gaza Strip, will be able to train in Jeri­cho, and swim­mer Zakiya Nas­sar, un­able to train in her home city of Jenin as it has no pool, will be able to travel to Jerusalem.

IS­RAEL’S ECON­OMY lost more than 2.5 mil­lion work days last year be­cause of strikes. Ac­cord­ing to Em­ploy­ment, Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry data, in 2007 there were 2,548,627 strike days, nearly 200 times the num­ber of strike days the pre­vi­ous year.

A NEW com­mu­nity planned for fam­i­lies evac­u­ated from Gush Katif in 2005 would be an en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter, ac­cord­ing to an In­te­rior Min­istry re­port. If Mir­sham, in the Lachish re­gion, were to be built it “would harm trea­sures of na­ture, land­scape, and her­itage”, ac­cord­ing to the study.

THE JERUSALEM of­fice of Ram FM Peace Ra­dio — an English-lan­guage sta­tion based in Ra­mal­lah which aims to build ties be­tween Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans — was raided and shut down by Is­raeli po­lice for broad­cast­ing with­out a per­mit. Po­lice are con­sid­er­ing whether to take fur­ther ac­tion.

WHAT IS be­lieved to be the old­est gate in the world, built around 1,850 BCE as part of for­ti­fi­ca­tions in the city of Ashkelon, has been re­stored in a $700,000 (£350,000) project. The Canaan­ite gate, con­structed of bricks and lime­stone, is 15 me­tres long, more than two me­tres wide and al­most four me­tres high.

A LAND­MARK rul­ing by the Tel Aviv Dis­trict Court has recog­nised child­care ex­penses as a fac­tor in cal­cu­lat­ing work­ing moth­ers’ in­come tax li­a­bil­ity.“I ex­pect we will be forced to ap­peal the rul­ing,” Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ron­nie Bar-On told Army Ra­dio.

ARTS

AU­THORS JONATHAN Safran Foer, Anita Dia­mant, Ni­cole Krauss and Nathan Eng­lan­der are to visit Is­rael in May for the first In­ter­na­tional Writ­ers Fes­ti­val. The event, to be held at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim con­fer­ence cen­tre, will also in­clude South African No­bel prizewin­ner Na­dine Gordimer and will be at­tended by a num­ber of renowned Is­raeli au­thors.

THE 100-STRONG Tbil­isi Opera and Bal­let Theatre has em­barked on an Is­rael-wide tour and will per­form con­certs by Euro­pean as well as Ge­or­gian com­posers.

NEXT MONTHS’ Holon mu­sic fes­ti­val will be ded­i­cated to the Bea­tles, with three days of cover per­for­mances by Is­raeli stars in He­brew and English, as well as lec­tures and films. The an­nual spring fes­ti­val is hosted by the city’s Stein­berg Cen­ter for the Arts.

A SPE­CIAL pro­duc­tion of Madame But­ter­fly opened at the Is­rael Opera this week. Pol­ish di­rec­tor Mar­iusz Tre­lin­ski’s ver­sion of the Puc­cini clas­sic launched a Pol­ish Sea­son and a se­ries of bi­lat­eral cul­tural events.

THREE BRI­TISH bands from the rock’n’roll era of the 1960s are to play in Is­rael in a spe­cial event to mark the coun­try’s 60th an­niver­sary. The An­i­mals, Mar­malade, and Her­man’s Her­mits will take part in an Afula gig in the town’s newly-opened Am­phi-Park dur­ing Shavuot.

FANS OF Jerusalem’s Smadar Cin­ema cel­e­brated its 80th an­niver­sary with a two-day fes­ti­val. The venue was es­tab­lished in 1928 by a Ger­man ar­chi­tect.

Her­man’s Her­mits plan to rock out in Afula

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