Niv Assaraf, who faked his own kidnapping - but why?
Niv Assaraf, who faked his own kidnapping - but why?Facebook

The second day of Pesach is coming to an end for Jewish communities outside of Israel, so to save our Jewish readers the trouble of trawling through the news to see what they've missed, here are Arutz Sheva's news highlights from the last 48 hours:


Democratic Senator: Netanyahu should "contain himself"; Khamenei is an "agreeable" guy

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, speaking on CNN, warned Sunday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's outspoken criticism of the Iran nuclear deal could "backfire on him."

Feinstein, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the framework deal struck with Iran is “a better agreement, candidly, than I thought it was ever going to be."

"I don't think it's helpful for Israel to come out and oppose this one opportunity to change a major dynamic — which is a downhill dynamic — in this part of the world," she said. "I wish that he would contain himself."

Feinstein also reportedly said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appear sincere in cooperating with world leaders and that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, "is agreeable."

Read the full story here.


Netanyahu takes to US TV to make Israel's case against Iran framework deal

Feinstein had been responding to an interview Netanyahu gave to CNN, in which he compared the arguments being made for accepting the nuclear deal with Iran to those made when the United States negotiated a nuclear deal with North Korea in 1994 – and noted that in the end, North Korea got the bomb.

“They said the same arguments about North Korea – it'll make them peaceful, it'll make them moderate, it'll make them abandon their program – and the opposite has happened,” Netanyahu said.

In the interview, Netanyahu refused to say that he trusts President Barack Obama on Israel's security, despite being asked twice.

It was part of a series of back-to-back interviews on leading US news networks Sunday, which also included NBC and ABC.

Read the full story here.


US State Dept. rejects PM's demand to condition Iran deal on recognition of Israel

The escalated war of words over the Iran deal came on the heels of a statement by US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, who brusquely rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's demand that Iran be forced to end its threats to destroy Israel and recognize the Jewish state as part of the agreement to lift sanctions.

"This is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue," Harf said in her comments.

Read the full story here.


Tragedy at funeral of leading haredi Rabbi Shmuel Wosner

The death of leading haredi figure Rabbi Shmuel Wosner took an even more tragic turn when a young father was crushed to death during the funeral procession in Bnei Brak.

The victim was identified as 27-year-old yeshiva student Mordechai Gerber, who leaves behind a wife and young child.

Video footage taken Saturday night shows the sea of roughly 100,000 mourners surging towards the coffin, trampling Gerber to death and injuring 11 others.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva Sunday, a police spokesman rejected attempts to pin the blame on police, saying it was up to haredi leaders to encourage their followers to "maintain discipline" during such events instead of pushing and shoving.


Strange saga of Israeli who faked abduction continues

Just why did Niv Assaraf fake his own kidnapping in Judea near Hevron, costing the Israeli taxpayer millions of shekels?

His father Shmuel says he doesn't have a clue - but when he finally talks to him he wants to give him "a slap - and then a hug."

His accomplice, soldier Eran Nagauker, is to be dishonorably discharged from the IDF as punishment for helping Assaraf stage the elaborate prank.


ISIS beheads Hamas fighters

After seizing up to 90% of the Palestinian Yarmouk camp in the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Islamic State jihadist group (ISIS) has set about meting typically gruesome retribution towards both rebel fighters and civilians deemed to have resisted their takeover.

According to witnesses on the ground - whose testimonies have been backed up by images and videos posted online by the jihadists themselves - ISIS fighters have been beheading scores of Palestinian residents and fighters from the one rebel group which had been operating inside Yarmouk: a Syrian branch of Hamas known as Aknaf Beit al-Makdis.

Among those beheaded apparently was a leading Hamas figure in Syria, Sheikh Abu Salah Taha.


Report claims Israeli jets bombed weapons depots in Libya

Wrapping up our news highlights from over the weekend are reports in the Arab media that an Israeli Air Force jet bombed several warehouses in war-torn Libya, which contained weapons purchased by Iran for Hamas.

The destruction of the weapons stores in southern Libya was carried out in coordination with the Egyptian security and intelligence apparatuses,the reports claimed.

Read the full story here.


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