Israel news

Gay Masorti rabbi a first for Israel

By Nathan Jeffay, September 11, 2014

A Liverpool-born man has become the Israeli Masorti movement's first gay pulpit rabbi.

Mikie Goldstein has been inducted as the rabbi of Congregation Adat Shalom-Emanuel in Rehovot, and has broken new ground for Israel's gay community in two respects.


Hamas man released in Shalit deal planned teens’ murder

By Daniel Easterman, September 10, 2014

The man who organised the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank was a Hamas leader released as part of the 2011 prisoner swap for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, according to Palestinian security officials.


Gaza terror groups tunnelling again

By JC Reporter, September 9, 2014

Terror group Islamic Jihad has begun constructing tunnels under the Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera TV.

In a recent broadcast by the Qatar-based TV station, a reporter is taken blindfolded to the entrance of a tunnel.

Once inside the tunnel, the reporter explains that it is being “dug by resistance fighters in this border area.”


Israeli cult leader guilty of multiple sex crimes

By Daniel Easterman, September 8, 2014

The leader of an Israeli cult has been found guilty of rape and multiple sexual crimes.

Goel Ratzon, 64, was accused of having sexual relations with 21 different women – some of whom were teenagers when the relationships started – and fathered 49 children.


The wall? It runs through school

By Nathan Jeffay, September 4, 2014

Teachers are used to nasty shocks at the start of the school year, but this week one Israeli school head arrived to find a problem that - literally - dwarfed everything else.

Staff at the Languages and Culture School in Beit Shemesh found that an 8ft wall had been built through the middle of the playground, part of a move to hand half of the building to another school in the city.


Budgets cut to pay for war

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2014

The overall damage to Israel's economy from 50 days of fighting is still being assessed. So far, the cost is estimated to be between NIS 15 and 20bn (£2.5bn-£3.4bn).

The cost to Israeli industry, particularly factories in the south hit by rockets or forced to close down, is estimated at around NIS 1.3bn (£230m).


Bibi to stand again despite ratings crash

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2014

Benjamin Netanyahu's approval ratings have plummeted following the ceasefire as a combination of media criticism, attacks from rivals and a general disappointment that the operation failed to yield new security arrangements in Gaza have taken their toll.


After the fires, the floods of fury

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2014

An Israeli government decision to designate nearly 1,000 acres in the West Bank as "state land" in order to expand a settlement in the Etzion bloc has led to a diplomatic furore.


Giant Israel-Jordan gas deal in pipeline

By Orlando Radice, September 3, 2014

Israel is negotiating a $15 billion agreement to supply natural gas to Jordan.

If the deal goes through, Israel will pipe 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas over a period of 15 years to the Hashemite Kingdom.

Texas-based Noble Energy jointly operates the giant Leviathan field from which the gas will be supplied.


Campaign to strip Qatar of 2022 World Cup

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 29, 2014

The Israeli government is embarking on a low-profile campaign against Qatar, which has emerged as the main backer of Hamas.

The campaign is neither full-scale or official due to the close ties between Washington and Qatar. One of the key elements of the diplomatic drive will be to raise questions over Qatar's suitability to host the 2022 World Cup.