Israel news

Jerusalem violence ebbs

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 4, 2014

Violence in and around Jerusalem has continued over the past week, but at a lower level than the spate of attacks seen in late November.

On Saturday, arsonists, thought to be right-wing vigilantes, burnt two classrooms at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School in south Jerusalem.

The school is the only one in the city where Jews and Arabs learn side-by-side.


Pope's Islam message

December 4, 2014

Pope Francis has called for Muslim leaders around the world to speak out against terrorism carried out in the name of Islam.

In a press conference on board a flight back to Rome from Turkey, the Pope said that such a move would help dispel the stereotype of Islam as a violent faith.

The pontiff denounced people who say that "all Muslims are terrorists".


Gantz to step down as IDF gets new chief

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 4, 2014

The cabinet is expected to approve the appointment of Major General Gadi Eisenkot as the next chief of staff of the Israel Defence Force on Sunday.

Maj-Gen Eisenkot, 54, is currently the deputy chief of staff and served most of his 36-year army career as a combat officer in the Golani infantry brigade.


Diaspora rattled as Israel's 'Jewish-state' crisis grows

November 27, 2014

Israel's planned "Jewish-state law" has pushed its governing coalition to the edge of collapse and prompted unprecedented criticism from President Reuven Rivlin, the US administration and major Jewish organisations around the world.


New Israel Fund pledges opposition to bill

By Simon Rocker, November 27, 2014

The New Israel Fund will oppose the nation-state bill "in any form which seeks to alter the vision of Israel's founders and harm Israel's democratic character," said the chief executive of its UK branch, Adam Ognall.

The Office of the Chief Rabbi and the Jewish Leadership Council have declined to express a view on the bill.

But Mr Ognall argued that British Jewry should be at the "forefront


Clash over anti-terror measures

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2014

Israel's political and security establishments are at loggerheads over the best way to confront the recent wave of terror attacks.

As ministers and right-wing politicians have called for more severe measures, the security chiefs have warned that "collective punishment" will not deter further attacks and only serve to further alienate the Palestinian population.

So far, the demands of some po


Egypt offers West Bank peacekeepers

November 27, 2014

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has expressed a willingness to send Egyptian peacekeeping troops to a future Palestinian state to prevent attacks on Israel.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of a visit to Italy and France this week, Mr Sissi said: "We need to guarantee the security of Israelis, but, at the same time, we must give back hope to the Palestin


Lone, lethal, impossible to predict: a new terror

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2014

Jerusalem is brimming with specially trained anti-terror police. But when a call came in at 7.01 am on Tuesday morning about a terror attack in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighbourhood, the first officers on the scene were a couple of traffic cops.

One of them, Zaidan Saif, was fatally wounded when he tried to confront the murderers, cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal.


I knew the attacker's face. It was nearly the last one I saw

By Nathan Jeffay, November 20, 2014

A doctor has told of the moment he came face-to-face with one of the terrorists behind the Kehilat Bnei Torah Synagogue massacre.

Oncologist Yitzhak Hesching was deep in prayer when two terrorists, armed with knives and machetes, burst in during the morning minyan, lashing out and killing four as worshippers ran for their lives.


Details of new EU sanctions plan revealed

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2014

The Israeli government is concerned that the European Union might try to convince its member nations to implement sanctions against Israel over building projects beyond the Green Line.

Haaretz this week revealed that possible sanctions appear in a document prepared by the Middle East department of the EU's foreign service.