Israel news

Analysis: The case for Israel

By Jonathan Tobin , June 3, 2010

All friends of Israel must feel regret for the loss of life as well as embarrassment over the bungled operation that led to the deaths of pro-Palestinian activists. But that should not be confused with an admission of guilt about an illegal or unjustified use of force.

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Analysis: Salvaging the wreckage

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 3, 2010

In the aftermath of the disastrous raid on the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli leadership is scrambling to prevent two specific developments. The first is a re-run of the Goldstone Commission that produced a damaging report on Israel's conduct in Operation Cast Lead last year. Few Israelis imagine that another report commissioned by the United Nation's Human Rights Council would be any kinder to their country.

The other major concern is a campaign of international pressure on Israel to remove the blockade of Gaza at a disadvantageous moment.

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Jerusalem locals fight to save swimming pool

By Ben Lynfield, June 3, 2010

One of the few fun alternatives to going to shul on Shabbat morning in Jerusalem appears to be in danger.

At the Jerusalem Pool on Emek Refaim Street in the German Colony neighbourhood last Saturday, six-year- olds with inflatables were screeching with delight in azure water. Nearby, in lanes, older swimmers were doing breaststroke laps and a snack bar was offering up hafuch - Israeli cappuccino - along with rusty coloured sausages.

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Israeli house prices soar to record levels

By Nathan Jeffay, June 3, 2010

Israel's housing market was the third hottest in the world during 2009, according to an international house price survey.

The Global House Price Index, compiled by the multinational property agency Knight Frank, showed that house prices in Israel increased more than in any other developed country except Hong Kong and China.

According to the survey, prices in Israel increased by an average of 21.3 per cent in the course of 2009, compared to a 3.4 per cent increase in Britain and a 3.1 per cent decrease in America.

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Hamas refuse to let aid into Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Hamas has refused to allow the supplies from the flotilla ships into the Gaza Strip and has accused Israel of tampering with the equipment.

Israel has loaded 20 trucks with the cargo from the aid ships, including clothing, medical supplies and blankets, to bring into the area.

But Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is apparently preventing its delivery.

A Hamas spokesperson said they would only accept the transfer of the humanitarian supplies when all the pro-Palestinian activists detained by Israel were released.

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United States vote against UNHRC Gaza motion

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

The United States has voted against a resolution by a UN body condemning Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Italy and the Netherlands also voted against the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) document, while the UK abstained.

The Palestinian-sponsored resolution was passed by a majority of 32. It calls for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and for an independent probe into the incident.

The UNHRC previously instigated the controversial Goldstone Report into the 2009 Gaza war.

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Turkey gives Gaza ultimatum to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Turkey’s foreign minister has said the country would normalise ties with Israel if it lifts the blockade of Gaza

Following the IDF raid of a flotilla ship on Monday, which left nine dead including several Turkish nationals, Ahmet Davutogu said: "It is time calm replaces anger".

He said: "I see no reason for not normalising the ties, once the Gaza blockade is lifted and our citizens are released."

His comments came as Turkish planes arrived in Israel to take the activists home.

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Rihanna performs in Tel Aviv

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

R&B singer Rihanna has described performing in Israel for the first time as "an amazing experience".

The 22-year-old from Barbados took to the stage in Tel Aviv on Sunday, thrilling crowds with performances of her hits "Rude Boy" and "Russian Roulette".

Taking time out of a busy rehearsal schedule for her European tour, she volunteered on a wall painting with a group of Israeli scouts.

The Grammy winner spent time visiting tourist sites in Jerusalem including the Western Wall, where she posted a personal note.

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Israel not prosecuting pro-Palestinian activists

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2010

Israel has said it will not be prosecuting the pro-Palestinian activists detained after the weekend's fighting on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

The move comes as Israel prepares to send 325 of the activists home immediately, with the remaining number expected to be flown home in the next 48 hours.

An aide said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had made the decision after consulting his cabinet.

Turkish planes have landed in Israel to return nationals to the country, while others are at Ben Gurion airport awaiting flights.

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Judge Goldstone removed from Hebrew University board

By Simon Griver and Simon Rocker, June 1, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone has said he was unaware that the Hebrew University removed him from its board of governors until contacted by the Jewish Chronicle.

“This is the first I have heard about my position as a governor of the HU,” said the South-African born judge, who lead the United Nations investigation into Operation Cast Lead. “I feel confident that it is not correct and such action would not be taken without notice to me or the South African Friends of the Hebrew University.”

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