Israel news

Calmer horizon for Israel as Middle East burns

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

Nearly three years into the upheaval that began as the “Arab Spring”, and both Egypt and Syria are undergoing turmoil that is unlikely to subside in 2014.

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Fortunes of Bennett and Lapid will define the political game in 2014

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

The year 2013 was the year of the “brothers” in Israeli politics.

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Will 2014 be a year of peace?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

At a particularly bleak moment during his umpteenth visit to the region this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted: “We’re not talking at this point about any shifts [in the schedule],” and reiterated his belief that Israel and the Palestinians can still reach a peace agreement by April, at the end of the nine-month time-frame he set for the talks.

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Israel to levy new second home tax

By Nathan Jeffay, December 20, 2013

The cost of maintaining a second home in Israel will rocket on January 1, when a new regulation will double council tax on properties that lie empty for most of the year.

Last week, the Knesset approved the increase in taxes for so-called “phantom apartments”, following years of complaints by municipalities in tourist areas such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Analysis: How rabbinate lost influence over holiest site

By Nathan Jeffay, December 20, 2013

Israel’s chief rabbis have issued a declaration reminding the public of the religious ban against visiting the holiest site in Judaism, Temple Mount.

The new chief rabbis, who took office five months ago, have stated that they adhere to the traditional position, which has dominated Israeli Orthodoxy since Israel captured Temple Mount in 1967.

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Confusion as Bedouin plan slides off the agenda

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Thursday night to cancel the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Negev Bedouin Settlements left its opponents jubilant — but with no clue about what the replacement could be.

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Israel fears sanctions tsunami

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Israeli diplomats are concerned that a large wave of sanctions could hit the country if the current round of talks with the Palestinians fails.

A recent spate of boycott actions in Europe and the US will have a limited effect but Israelis fear that they could be just the beginning.

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PA says two killings within 24-hours is threat to peace

By Daniel Easterman, December 19, 2013

The Palestinian Authority has accused Israel of causing damage to the ongoing peace negotiations after Israeli security forces killed two suspected terrorists in the West Bank.

A spokesperson for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said: "This dangerous Israeli escalation is aiming to thwart the attempt by the Americans and international community to advance the peace process."

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Transport chaos in Jerusalem as snow storm leaves thousands stranded

By Daniel Easterman, December 13, 2013

Hundreds are stranded on the roads leading up to Jerusalem and tens of thousands of homes in the city are without power, on the third day of one of the worst storms in Israel’s history.

According to reports, between 1,500 and 2,000 people were rescued from cars trapped in the snow last night and hundreds of others were evacuated to the city’s two main conventions centres.

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Anger over Israeli government settlements plan for Galilee towns

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

A government programme to promote Jewish settlement in the Galilee has raised objections from Arab-Israeli politicians and environmentalists.

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