(JTA) Egypt called on Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel. Egypt's intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, said that if Hamas does not make these pronouncements, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is not obligated to ask Hamas to form a government. Suleiman made the comments Wednesday, the same day he met Israel's foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, in Cairo.

(JTA) The U.N. nuclear watchdog is meeting to decide whether to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council. The International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to report Iran to the council at its meeting Thursday in Vienna after the five nations with veto power on the council unanimously backed the move earlier this week. "Reporting" Iran to the council is a step short of "referring" it. A referral would require the Security Council to decide on sanctions, while a report simply passes the matter to the council for consideration.

(JTA) Ariel Sharon had a feeding tube inserted. Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital said Wednesday that doctors inserted a tube into the comatose Israeli prime minister’s stomach, a move that signaled that his incapacitation could be protracted. The hospital said Sharon, who suffered a massive stroke last month, remained in stable but critical condition.

(JTA) An institute devoted to Jewish genealogical research and study opened this week in Israel. Described as the only one of its kind in the Jewish world, the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy at the Jewish National and University Library in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. The institute is headed by Yosef Lamdan, a former Israeli ambassador to the Vatican. According to Lamdan, the institute will focus on teaching, research and collaborative projects of practical benefit to family historians. Jewish genealogy has gained immense popularity across the Jewish world over the last two decades, and especially since the rise of the Internet.


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