Shorts: mideast

Palestinians beat would-be bombers

jerusalem (jta) | Palestinian workers waiting to enter Israel from the Gaza Strip reportedly beat and overpowered two men planning to carry out an attack.

An inquiry conducted recently by Israel with the help of Palestinian officials found that, a few days after a Jan. 14 suicide bombing at the Erez crossing, Palestinian workers waiting to enter Israel noticed two Palestinian youths carrying weapons under their clothing trying to enter the area.

The workers confronted them, overpowered them, beat them and then handed them over to Palestinian Authority policemen.

It’s not clear what happened to the youths after that, Ha’aretz reported.

New York seniors travel to Israel

jerusalem (jta) | It’s never too late. Ten residents of the Hebrew Home for the Aged in the Bronx are traveling in Israel. The group, many in their 80s or 90s, are on an eight-day “chutzpah mission” to the Jewish state.

“This is a good memory to end my life,” Sadie Hankin, 91, said as she stood atop Masada.

The trip includes a doctor who carries the medical records of all participants, several of whom have heart conditions or have suffered strokes.

No civil nuptials

jerusalem (jta) | A bill to legalize secular weddings in Israel fizzled in the Knesset.

Lawmakers rejected the bill, which would have ended the clergy’s exclusive control of weddings in Israel, by a vote of 58-29 in its preliminary reading Wednesday, March 10.

Israel recognizes all marriages conducted abroad but allows only Orthodox Jewish, Muslim or Christian weddings on its soil — a sore point for secularists and interfaith couples.

Terror attempt by model airplane?

jerusalem (jta) | Israel recently foiled a terrorist plot to slam a radio-controlled model airplane loaded with explosives into Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip.

The Shin Bet said it had arrested a Palestinian who confessed to planning the attack on instructions from Hezbollah. The Palestinian said he joined the Lebanese militia after seeing a recruitment ad on its satellite television channel Al-Manar.