Number of the day =70.
—Percentage increase in new settlement construction starts in the first half of 2013 compared with the first half of last year, Peace Now reports.
- Peace Now: Israel steps up settlement housing starts - NGO says there were 1,708 housing starts in January-June this year, compared with 995 during same period in 2012 and 44 percent of it took place east of Israel's separation barrier which cuts through the W. Bank, and 32 percent fell to the west of it. Peace Now bills the figures as a "drastic rise." (Agencies, Ynet and Maan)
- Likud municipal campaigns ordered to drop racist ads - Ads against mosque in Carmiel and muezzin in Jaffa prohibited. The Central Election Committee decision was made despite the attorney general's advice that the committee had no authority over online and street ads. (Haaretz+)
- Housing Minister: Netanyahu isn't building in Jerusalem, and Barekat is silent - Uri Ariel spoke at a closed conference of Habayit Hayehudi party and attacked the two men, accusing the Prime Minister of acting on foreign interests. Habayit Hayehudi is considering following Shas and establishing its own Council of Torah Sages. (Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
- Former chairman of top Israeli bank convicted of fraud - Danny Dankner pleads guilty to reduced charges relating to misconduct during his time at the bank; agrees to pay fine of NIS 1 million, with additional sentencing to come. (Haaretz+)
- Egypt army destroys smuggling tunnel in Rafah - The tunnel was found in the home of a man identified only as H.Q, and was used to smuggle people to and from the Gaza Strip. (Maan)
For the full News from Israel.