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Tue. Nov 29, 2016 News from Israel

  • Tax authority announces nine cities and settlements hit in fires were caused by arson
  • Regulation bill vote in Knesset will go ahead on Wednesday
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reelected head of Fatah ahead of party congress

Fires in nine cities and settlements hit in the rash of blazes that spread across the country over the past week were caused by arson and may have been terrorism, the Israel Tax Authority announced Tuesday in a move that paves the way for state compensation for losses. Finance minister Moshe kahlon said that every citizen whose property was destroyed in the recent fires would receive help even if they don’t have private insurance.

The Regulation Bill has already been approved at the Knesset in a preliminary reading. It is scheduled to go for its first reading on Wednesday, but the attorney general has warned that in its current form, the bill will be indefensible at the High Court of Justice.Despite this, the Bayit Yehudi party, and particularly leader Naftali Bennett, are not willing to back down on the legislation."We won't let go of this bill until we can see solutions being implemented for Amona and the entire settlement enterprise," officials in the party said.

Fatah unanimously re-elected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to a new five-year term as party leader on Tuesday, at its first conference since 2009, when he was last elected for a five-year term.

86 out of the 200 new IDF Armored Corps draftees over the past few days refused to join the military. In light of their decision, half of them were sent to a detention facility at the IDF induction center. The rest were sent to military prisons to serve sentences of 4 to 20 days. This was a rare incident not only because of the massive refusal to join the force but because of the military prison punishment.

Israeli 8th graders achievements in science and mathematics have decreased internationally, according to the results released Tuesday of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study the longest- running, international assessment of mathematics and science education in the world. A large gap was also found between the very good students and those struggling and also between the Hebrew speaking students and Arab students.

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