Israel. The re-election to Parliament on February 10
became a victory for conservative and nationalist forces.
During the election campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of
the conservative Likud, accused the Kadima central party and
the Leftist Labor Party of prematurely interrupting the Gaza
Strip military offensive around New Year. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defense and leader of the Labor Party, said the
offensive had the intended effect.
Kadima became Knesset's largest party with 28 seats
(compared to 29 in the last election of 2006), but Likud
more than doubled its number of seats and landed at 27.
Third largest party became the right-wing extremist Yisrael
Beitenu with 15 seats and first came in fourth place The
Labor Party with 13 seats. Kadim leader Tzipi Livni refused
to form an alliance with Yisrael Beitenu. After
negotiations, Netanyahu in March presented a coalition in
which Likud allied with Yisrael Beitenu, the Labor Party and
the two nationalist small parties Shas and the Jewish home.
countryaah, the new Foreign Minister became Yisrael Beitenu's leader
Avigdor Lieberman, who already made his first day on the job
clear that he did not feel that Israel had an obligation to
fulfill its 2007 promise to contribute to the establishment
of a Palestinian state. His statement was criticized
internationally. Israel also received very sharp criticism
of the massive New Year offensive against the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Security Council voted January 8 through
Resolution 1860 calling for immediate ceasefire and
withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. For the first time
in many years, the United States did not use its veto power
to support Israel, but instead cast its vote. All other
members of the Council voted in favor of the resolution.
Following the offensive came several reports that Israel
was violating human rights and international law, including
by using white phosphorus against civilians, an inflammable
substance that causes severe and deadly wounds.
According to a report presented by the South African
Judge Richard Goldstone in September on behalf of the United
Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Israel was guilty of
extensive war crimes in the form of, among other things,
attacks on food supply, water systems, hospitals,
ambulances, factories, government buildings and thousands of
residential buildings. and by oppression of Israeli
oppositionists. According to the report, the intention of
the offensive was to "punish, humiliate and terrorize the
Israel rejected the report as "subjective" and claimed
that the Palestinian militia used civilians as human
shields. Goldstone recommended Israel and the Gaza leaders
to investigate the allegations within six months and report
the outcome to the UN Security Council. If they did not,
they would be reported to the International Criminal Court
Israel and Sweden ended up in a diplomatic conflict since
the newspaper Aftonbladet August 17 published an article in
which Israeli military was accused of killing Palestinians
for the purpose of stealing their bodies. Israel demanded
that the Swedish government condemn the article, but Foreign
Minister Carl Bildt rejected the claim with reference to
freedom of the press.
Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in
2006, appeared in a video recording in October that the
militant Hamas movement published in exchange for the
release of 20 imprisoned Palestinian women.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted in August
for three cases of corruption during his time as mayor of
Jerusalem and as a minister in the government but before the
prime minister's term. Former President Moshe Katsav was
charged March 19 for rape and other sex crimes against
former employees of his staff.
Israel - Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Hebrew Yerushalayim, Arab al-Quds, city of
Israel and the West Bank occupied by Israel; 882,600 residents (2017). The city
was named the capital of Israel in 1949. In 2017, the United States became the
first country to confirm that status. Jerusalem is the holy city for three
religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. About 72 percent of the population
is Jews. During the 1948 war, Jerusalem was divided into a western Jewish part
and an eastern Arab part.
Modern, western Jerusalem is characterized by light industry, administration
and higher education and research. Here is the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), the
government and the Supreme Court, as well as the Chief Rabbinate. The old,
"Oriental" Jerusalem is surrounded by a 12 m high city wall with several towers
and gates. There are countless shrines, representing several religions. The
population of this part of the city is mainly fed by tourism and pilgrims. The
old city is usually divided into four neighborhoods, the Christian in the
northwest, the Armenian in the southwest, the Muslim in the northeast and the
Jewish in the southeast.
After the Six Day War of 1967, the eastern city was annexed, and since then
it forms an integral part of West Jerusalem. The UN has opposed Israeli efforts
to change the status of Jerusalem, and UNESCO has designated Jerusalem as a
World Heritage Site.
Jerusalem's cityscape as a whole is a mixture of old and new. Its core
consists of the oriental embossed Old Town with narrow, winding, often covered
streets and low stone houses. This is where most of Jerusalem's holy places are.
Around the old Jerusalem extends a wall, mostly erected by the Turks in the
1530s. The wall is about 4 km long, 12 m high and 2 m wide and has a large
number of towers and gates, including the so-called Stefanusporten.
In the northwestern Christian district are among other things. Church of the
Holy Sepulcher, according to Christian tradition located at the site of Jesus'
tomb and Calvary. The church was built 326-335 by Constantine the Great but was
demolished in 1009 by the Arabs, after which a new Romanesque church was built
by the Crusaders. The church leads to Via Dolorosa, which has its beginnings in
the northeastern Muslim district. In this part of Jerusalem lies the walled
Temple site dominated by the Rock Mosque, erected 687–91 by the Arabs. The rock
mosque, considered one of the foremost edifices of Islamic architecture and
constituted by an octagonal, domed central building, is erected over the rock
which, according to Muslim tradition, was the site of Muhammad's ascension.
Today the cliff itself goes inside the building, right under the dome. The
Temple Square also houses the second Muslim shrine in Jerusalem, al-Aqsa Mosque,
a quaint basilica, erected in the early 700s. An approximately 400 m long
section of the south-west wall of the Temple Square forms the holy place of the
Jews in Jerusalem, the Western Wall (the Wailing Wall), which is believed to be
the remains of part of the second temple erected in Herod's time.
To the east of the Old Town is the 830 m high Olive Mountain and Getsemanes
Garden. To the west of Old Jerusalem, the new city is spreading with
predominantly Western-style buildings. Here you will find The Israeli
Parliament, inaugurated in 1966, the Israel Museum from 1959 by Al Mansfeld and
Dora Gad and the Hadassah Hospital from 1934–39, designed by Erich Mendelsohn
and with stained-glass paintings by Marc Chagall in the synagogue. Here is also
the memorial monument of the Holocaust during World War II, Yad Vashem, erected
in 1959–64 by Arieh Elhanani.