Shorts: Mideast

Hamas TV seeks new ‘hero’

Hamas plans to replace the Mickey Mouse look-alike that was killed off recently on its controversial children’s program.

Reuters this week quoted producers at Hamas’ Al-Aqsa Television as saying that Farfur, which drew international outrage by calling on young viewers to fight Israel and promote radical Islam, would be succeeded by other famous characters.

Farfur, the star of a show called “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” suffered a grisly end last week at the hands of an actor posing as an Israeli security agent. Hamas said the character had been “martyred.” — jta

Israeli troops rescue eagles

Israel rescued two eagles of a protected species in a military operation in Hebron.

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, having received an intelligence tip that Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron had illegally reared a protected species of eagle, seized the eagles over the weekend with the help of the Israel Defense Forces.

An Israeli park ranger scoured a Hebron neighborhood protected by a platoon of paratroopers until the two birds were discovered in a pet shop. They were handed over to the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem, and two Palestinians were detained for questioning. According to the Nature and Parks Authority, only about six pairs of this species of eagle exist in the wild. — jta

Arab town gets Jewish mayor

The appointment of a Jewish mayor for an Israeli Arab town has angered residents.

Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit installed Shlomo Tuizer, the former head of the Beersheba prison, as mayor of Taibeh after taking control of the municipality due to gross financial mismanagement. The town’s deficit reportedly has surpassed $45 million.

Sheetrit dismissed the mayor of Taibeh and four other Arab towns last week over objections by some Arab citizens and Knesset members. Residents and Arab parliamentarians protested Tuizer’s appointment in a mass rally in the town center on Saturday night. — jta

Israel plans tent city for Sudanese

Israel is erecting a tent city in the Negev Desert to accommodate Sudanese refugees.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter announced Monday, July 9 that the tent city would be set up near the remote Negev prison of Kziot. Under the plan, temporary accommodation will be made available for up to 1,000 refugees while Israel tries to stem the influx by negotiating with Egypt on sealing the border. — jta