Tue. Mar 18, 2014 Israel News
- Editor: Gilya Stern
- Video Editor: Roi Evron
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- Explosion near Syria border wounds four Israeli soldiers
- Finance minister Lapid proposes no VAT for young homebuyers
- Shula Zaken ready to testify without deal against Olmert and state
Four Israeli soldiers were wounded by a bomb that hit their jeep in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border on Tuesday. Three of the wounded soldiers were in light and moderate condition and a fourth sustained serious injuries. They were evacuated to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa for treatment. The blast that hit the Israeli army jeep was apparently caused by a roadside bomb planted near the border fence in Majdal Shams. An initial investigation revealed that the soldiers had approached the border after suspicious figures were seen from the lookout tower. An explosive device was detonated when the soldiers exited the jeep. Israeli forces responded to the blast with artillery fire and the army said it hit several targets. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the incident by declaring that Israel would respond firmly to any threat: The border with Syria is filling up with Jihad and Hezbollah forces. In recent years we have managed to maintain calm in the face of the civil war in Syria. We will also act firmly to safeguard the safety of the state of Israel.”
The Ministry of Finance proposed that a couple with at least one child buying their first new apartment from a contractor would not pay VAT. In other words, at the current 18% rate of VAT, the couple would receive a discount of about 15.25%. Under Minister of Finance Yair Lapid’s proposal, which top Ministry of Finance officials oppose, within a few months, prices of new home will be reduced by 15.25%. The proposal would later be widened to second-hand homes, because of the reduced demand for such homes by young couples. The proposal, which of course has not yet undergone legislation procedures, has a number of conditions: at least one of the couple served in the IDF; at least one of the couple is working; the couple resides in Israel; the apartment price will not exceed the average price for each region; and if the apartment is sold within five years of the purchase, the benefit will immediately be repaid.
In a bizarre turn of events, the state and Ehud Olmert on Tuesday found themselves on the same side against Olmert’s former top aide Shula Zaken in dueling legal briefs before the High Court of Justice over whether she would add new testimony against Olmert in the Holyland trial. Zaken, for the first time, told the High Court through her lawyers that she was now ready to return to the witness stand to testify against Olmert and other defendants even without a deal in order to arrive at the truth.
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