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Tue. Aug 30, 2016 News from Israel

  • Former Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer laid to rest
  • Former Mossad chief: Israel’s internal threats are more dangerous than external threats
  • Religious parties agree to committee to discuss Shabbat construction following work on Tel Aviv light rail on weekend

Thousands of relatives, friends and associates of former minister Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer participated in his funeral  at the cemetery in Holon Tuesday which took place 2 days after he was pronounced dead at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. Among those who eulogized him were Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu former president Shimon Peres and opposition leader Isaac Herzog. Netanyahu said: “I loved Fuad. He was filled with a combination of vitality, grace, cleverness and a lot of patriotism.” Peres said that Ben-Eliezer “proved that we are not a nation that strives for war but rather one that seeks peace.” Ben-Eliezer’s son Ofir who lives abroad did not attend the funeral. According to Ofir, “the Israel Police said that they would make my life miserable; they made my father sick.” In an interview with Channel 2 News, Ofir said: “I decided against coming to Israel because of the police threats. Their interrogation in the US ended with nothing.”Ofir accused the police investigators of being responsible for his father’s death: “Everyone knows that this investigation and its management were not a success. They wasted a lot of time and because of this, I’m completely confident that they buried my father. They made my father ill.”

Former Mossad director Tamir Pardo weighed in on the real danger Israel is facing. According to Pardo, the polarization of the Israeli society is a serious matter. “There is no existential threat to Israel from the outside; the existential threat to Israel is the internal split within the country,” said Pardo. Pardo made his first public statement since leaving the Mossad during a press conference he held on Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming Druze Sons’ Trail Race. “The separation will most likely lead to a civil war,” added Pardo. “We are headed in that direction.”

Leaders of the ultra-Orthodox political parties agreed Tuesday on the establishment of a committee to define what kind of public construction work is considered critical and therefore permitted on Saturdays, the Jewish day of rest. The agreement came after a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Bureau between Shas and United Torah Judaism party leaders and senior ministers. The conference was called after the religious parties, members of the ruling coalition, demanded an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his decision on Friday that construction work on a train station in Tel Aviv would go ahead over the weekend despite their objections.

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