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Peres hosts political factions for consultations

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31 Jan 2013 (All day)
Peres hosts political factions for consultations

Israeli President Shimon Peres has begun to hold discussions with representatives from Israel’s incoming 19th Knesset. “It is clear that only one man, Benjamin Netanyahu, can form a government, and we want that government to be as broad and stable as possible,” Sa’ar Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar told Peres, in a sentiment echoed by many others. Several other parliamentary priorities were discussed by the delegations visiting Peres, including Iran, the economy, the budget, and equalizing the burden of national service, as well as a resumption of the peace process with the Palestinians and government reform. Parties which will form the next coalition also discussed the portfolios they want.

“This is a very heavy responsibility and I intend to carry it out in full accordance with the law to facilitate a government that represents the will of the people,” Peres said. “I see this as both a duty and a privilege.”

WHO report gives details of Israeli aid to Palestinians
A report published recently by the World Health Organization (WHO) details the extensive efforts Israel has gone to in order to facilitate the transfer of Palestinian patients to Israeli medical facilities, despite the ongoing rocket fire from terror groups in the Strip. The data shows that 16,553 Palestinians entered Israel from the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in hospitals situated both in Israel and in the West Bank in 2012. “We will continue to assist the Palestinian population to the extent required, in the transportation of the Palestinian patients for medical treatment in Israel, as well as holding workshops and practical and theoretical seminars in Israel, in order to provide the Palestinian doctors with better tools and improve the health system in the Judea and Samaria region and in the Gaza Strip," conclude COGAT officials.

Click here to read about aid Israel sent to Gaza despite incoming rocket fire (PDF)

Haredi employment makes slow progress
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies think tank released a report on Wednesday showing that haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish citizens who graduate with a bachelor’s degree find it more difficult to find a job than non-haredi citizens with the same degree. It also showed that even after haredi Jews find work, they often earn less than non-heredi workers. The report noted however, that there are positive trends in haredi enrollment in higher education and urged the government to assist haredi job seekers, as younger haredim will be watching to see if this first wave of job seekers succeeds.

Hamas teaches Hebrew
Hamas is expanding Hebrew classes in Gaza Strip high schools so that Palestinians may better know their enemy, especially in times of conflict. Although Hamas rejects Israel's existence and seeks to replace it with an Islamist state, they believe Palestinians can gain from understanding Hebrew. Soumaya al-Nakhala, a senior Hamas education ministry official, said that knowing one's enemy is consistent with the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. "We chose to learn Hebrew because we … learn how to avoid their evil," said 14-year-old student Mohammed Seyam.

Morsi: ‘Anti-Jewish slurs ignore context’
On Wednesday Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi excused his 2010 venomous remarks against Jews and Zionists claiming they had been taken out of context. "As I have said before the quotes were taken out of context... I am not against the Jewish faith, I am not against Jews who practice their religion," Morsi said. "I was talking about the practices and behavior of believers of any religion who shed blood or who attack innocent people or civilians. That's behavior that I condemn. I am a Muslim. I'm a believer and my religion obliges me to believe in all prophets, to respect all religions and to respect the right of people to their own faith." Meanwhile, protests against the Moslem Brotherhood the Morsi administration were quieter in Egypt on Wednesday, however two more men were shot and killed by unknown assailants in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, raising the death toll in seven days of street battles to 54. Morsi was in Berlin on Thursday, trying to reassure Europeans about the stability of his government and the economic benefits of investing there, but many in the West have expressed grave doubts.


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