Israel news

Danny Ayalon: nuclear Iran could lead to another Hiroshima

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister has warned that Iran must be stopped from becoming a nuclear power in order to “prevent another Hiroshima."

Danny Ayalon, who is on a four-day official visit to Japan, made the comments after visiting the memorial for victims of the 1945 Hiroshima bomb.

An estimated 140,000 people were killed by the Hiroshima bomb, the first time that an atomic weapon was used.

Mr Ayalon wrote on his Facebook page: “If we want to prevent another Hiroshima the international community needs immediately to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”


Cabinet agrees last Ethiopian Jews can move to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

The remaining members of the Ethiopian Jewish community are to move to Israel.

After years of wrangling, Israel’s cabinet voted in favour of giving the more than 7,800 Falash Mura Jews citizenship.

The decision, likely to be the final chapter in the saga of the Ethiopian Jewish community, comes almost exactly 26 years after Operation Moses, when Israel airlifted 8,000 Jews out of Ethiopia in secret.

A further 14,000 came to Israel in 1990 on a second airlift, with many more arriving independently.


Jerusalem mayor meets rock band Linkin Park

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

American rock band Linkin Park could film their next music video in Jerusalem.

Nir Barkat,mayor of Jerusalem, made the offer to the group when he met them on Monday morning. He also invited them to perform at a venue in Jerusalem.

Linkin Park, whose songs include In the End and What I’ve Done, are in Israel for a concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park this evening.

The band, who have spent time in the Old City and at the Western Wall during their visit, told the mayor that they “definitely” plan to visit Jerusalem again.


Leonardo DiCaprio, Bar Refaeli on Israel holiday

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has joined his Israeli girlfriend Bar Refaeli on a birthday visit to Tel Aviv.

The Inception actor, who has been involved with the supermodel since 2005, is staying at the Dan Hotel in the presidential suite to celebrate his 36th birthday.

The couple, who are on holiday with Mr DiCaprio’s mother Irmelin and Entourage actor Kevin Connelly, will be in Israel for the rest of the week.

They spent the previous week in Egypt with Naomi Campbell before flying in to Israel on a private jet.


New Gaza boat struggles to sail from Libya

By Jennifer Lipman, November 11, 2010

Pro-Palestinian activists hoping to breach the naval blockade of Gaza have run into trouble off the coast of Libya.


Two Israelis killed after Negev plane crash

By Jennifer Lipman, November 11, 2010

Two members of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have been killed after their plane crashed in the Negev desert.

The bodies of Major Amichai Itkis, 28, and 30-year-old Major Immanuel Levy were found in the Ramon crater early on Thursday morning, after the crash he previous evening.

They had been flying an F-16I Sufa (Storm) fighter jet on a routine exercise. The IAF has temporarily suspended training flights for Sufa jets.

An IAF committee is investigating the cause of the disaster.


Fall in West Bank violence

November 11, 2010

Terror activity in the West Bank has reached an all-time low due to the IDF and Shin Bet's efforts, and a major improvement in co-operation with the Palestinian Authority's security forces.


Hague condemns West bank construction plans

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

The Foreign Secretary has described plans to build nearly 1,300 homes in East Jerusalem as an “obstacle to peace”.

The proposed construction, in the Har Homa and Ramot settlements, has been approved by Israel’s interior ministry. But a ministry official said building would be unlikely to begin for several years.

However William Hague, who has just returned from an official visit to Israel, said: “The latest announcement…is extremely disappointing and unhelpful.

“Their construction should stop.”


Ariel Sharon to be moved to Negev ranch

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is to be moved from his Tel Aviv hospital bed to his home in the Negev.

According to Israel’s Ynet newspaper, following a request from his sons an ambulance will take Mr Sharon to Sycamore Ranch, where his wife Lily was buried after her death in 2000.

The intention is for him to go there permanently but he will initially be there for only a few days while medical procedures are checked.

Dr Shlomo Noi, from Tal Hashomer hospital, said: "There has been no improvement reported in his condition.


Chilean miner wants mistress to join him in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

The Chilean miners who were rescued from deep underneath the Atacama Desert in October have accepted the Israeli government’s offer to spend an “uplifting and extraordinary” Christmas in Israel.

After the 33 men were saved, the Israeli tourism minister, Stas Misezhnikov, invited them on an all expenses paid trip to see the Christian holy sites.

Rather rashly, he extended the invitation to the miners’ partners. “Los 33” have now happily accepted the offer, but have also asked that nearly 70 members of their extended families can come too.