Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Israeli Coalition Loses Key Party

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Israeli Coalition Loses Key Party

Article excerpt

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's massive coalition government shrunk back to a slim majority Tuesday as the centrist Kadima party quit amid feuding over proposals to draft religious students into the military.

The defection ended one of the largest coalitions in Israel's history, a little more than two months after Kadima rocked Israeli politics by joining Mr. Netanyahu's hawkish government.

Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, a former military chief, had pledged to push through a new draft law that would end exemptions for ultra- Orthodox seminary students. Tuesday, he accused Mr. Netanyahu of pandering to smaller religious factions by blocking a solution that would sharply accelerate recruitment of the students.

Constitutional issues on hold

CAIRO -- A Cairo court delayed until Thursday decisions in politically charged cases dealing with the disbanding of the panel drafting a new constitution and a decree giving the military sweeping powers at the expense of the presidency.

The delay extended a case in which supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood chanted against the generals who had ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak's ouster, spotlighting the political tug-of- war that continues two weeks after Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as the country's first democratically elected civilian leader.

U.S. offers condolences

NEW DELHI -- The U.S. Embassy in India expressed its condolences Tuesday after an American refueling ship in the Persian Gulf opened fire on a fishing boat, killing one Indian and wounding three others. India has called for an investigation by the United Arab Emirates, in whose waters the shooting took place.

In a statement, the embassy said the United States was launching its own investigation, but repeated previous U.S. suggestions that the use of force was justified given that the small motorized vessel was approaching the Navy fuel resupply ship Rappahannock on Monday at a rapid pace and failed to heed several warnings to turn away. …

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