Mideast Report Poll: Israelis back Palestinian state

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Members of Israel's Central Elections Committee have recommended that Rabbi Yosef Ba-Gad be disqualified from running for prime minister in May.

The committee found that many of the signatures on the petitions supporting Ba-Gad's candidacy were forged.

"At 23,000 forgeries, we stopped counting," an elections committee official said Sunday of Ba-Gad's petitions. A final decision on Ba-Gad's candidacy is expected from the full committee next week.

3 Palestinian offices ordered to shut doors

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli police issued closure orders Sunday against three Palestinian institutions operating in eastern Jerusalem.

The three organizations, including a group lobbying on behalf of Palestinian prisoners, an office of the WAFA Palestinian news agency and the office of a Palestinian Authority official on religious affairs, planned to appeal the orders.

Also on Sunday, a delegation of Israeli peace activists presented the leading Palestinian official in Jerusalem, Faisal Husseini, with a petition signed by 520 Israelis supporting the Palestinians' right to declare a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern half of Jerusalem.

Baby swap leads to hospital lawsuit

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli couple sued a hospital for damages after discovering that their biological son was switched with another baby 23 years ago.

The couple is suing the Hillel Yaffe Hospital, accusing it of denying them the chance to raise their biological son.

Army dispute ends in murder-suicide

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A dispute between two Israeli army soldiers, apparently over guard duty, ended in both of their deaths, according to Israel Radio.

The incident, which the military allowed to be published Sunday, occurred at an army base near the Lebanon border.

Cpl. Alexander Resnikov, 19, of Kiryat Arba, opened fire on Sgt. Ronen Kimchi, 20, of Jerusalem, and then fatally shot himself.