Shorts: Mideast

Israeli team defeats NBA squad

jerusalem (jta) | Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated the NBA’s Toronto Raptors on Sunday, Oct. 16 in Toronto, 105-103.

Maccabi had not beaten an NBA team since 1978. A former NBA player, Anthony Parker, hit the game-winning shot for Maccabi, Israel’s top team, in the exhibition game.

Karzai considers Sharon meeting

jerusalem (jta) | The president of Afghanistan said he is willing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Hamid Karzai told an Israeli newspaper last week he believes the time is right for Afghanistan to formally acknowledge Israel, following Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Pakistan’s opening of dialogue with the Jewish state.

“The times have changed,” Karzai told Yediot Achronot. “Pakistan took a step toward Israel. We will too.”

Israeli court backs barrier construction

jerusalem (ap) | Israel’s Supreme Court has authorized the construction of the West Bank separation barrier through the yards of Palestinian homes in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of Jerusalem.

In its ruling last week, the court cited a “crucial security need” to build the barrier in the Dahiyat al-Barid neighborhood in northeastern Jerusalem.

Two previous decisions by the court ordered rerouting of other sections so the wall wouldn’t impose undue hardship on Palestinians or violate their human rights. The 425-mile barrier is 75 percent complete, and construction of about 10 percent of the remainder is under legal challenge.