Israel news

Israeli citizens' urgent warning to leave Sinai

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

In an unprecedented move, Israel has urged its citizens to leave Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula immediately, warning of an imminent terrorist attack.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued the urgent warning, claiming that there is “concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai".

Israeli civilians currently in Sinai may be at high risk of kidnap, although the kidnappers’ target is likely to be an Israeli soldier.

Palestinian militants have kidnapped three soldiers from Israel. One of them, Gilad Shalit, has been held hostage since 2006.

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Palestinian killed in Gaza border clash

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

At least one Palestinian terrorist, who attempted to plant a bomb at the Gaza border fence, has been killed by the Israeli army.

The IDF and Palestinian sources have confirmed the attack happened on the Kissufim border with Gaza.

The IDF said that a group of Palestinians had attempted to breach the border and a Givati strike force fired and shelled at the group. Military helicopters were also used to target the men.

The dead man is a member of the al-Quds Brigade, the military section of Islamic Jihad, the terrorist group confirmed.

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IDF big guns in face-off as Barak takes on Ashkenazi

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 8, 2010

The laconic announcement published by the defence minister this week that IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, would end his term as planned next February, hid beneath it a bubbling storm of ego and political reckoning. It had little to do with Israel's strategic interests.

The appointment of the IDF's chief has always been carried out in a hotbed of political intrigue. There are few democracies in which the army's supreme command carries as much social and political significance as it does in Israel.

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Gaza leaders in 'truce' talks

April 5, 2010

A truce with Israel and the prospects of inter-Palestinian reconcilliation were discussed on Sunday night at a meeting of several Gaza factions.

Islamic Jihad, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front all participated attended the meeting, described by Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha as the “first fruits” of a series of inter-Palestinian talks.

The representatives gathered as a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip missed a kibbutz in the Western Negev.

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Israeli conversions in legal challenge

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 1, 2010

Israel's Supreme Court will have to decide whether local rabbis can refuse to marry converts, in what may turn out to be a landmark case.

The latest challenge the rabbis are posing to the converts is an attempt to sabotage the only successful conversion programme still operating in Israel, run by the IDF.

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'Freedom' haggadah dedicated to Jonathan Pollard

By Nathan Jeffay, April 1, 2010

The Seder Night themes of captivity and freedom took on a new twist in thousands of Israeli households this year, with the launch of a new haggadah remembering Jonathan Pollard.

The Freedom Haggadah, sub-titled "Let's not pass over our brother Jonathan", was produced and distributed by activists campaigning for America to free the spy.

Pollard started serving a life sentence in a US prison in 1987, for passing military secrets to Israel while working as an intelligence analyst for the US Navy.

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Analysis: Netanyahu will survive, but at what cost?

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 1, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu may be presiding over one of the most precarious periods for Israeli diplomacy in decades, but on the local political front, his situation has never been better. Whatever course he tries to chart out of the quagmire that his government's relations with the Obama administration has become, it is virtually impossible to sketch a scenario in which he is forced out of power.

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Israeli Uefa visit marred by funding row

By Simon Griver, April 1, 2010

The Israeli Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov, withdrew NIS 300,000 (£54,000) in sponsorship for a tour of Jerusalem by the delegates to the Uefa congress last week after the Israeli FA insisted there be no media coverage of the event.

The Uefa Congress brought 300 delegates from the football world to Israel, including Uefa President Michel Platini, FA Chairman Lord Triesman and the heads of all 53 European FAs. Also present were Fifa President Sepp Blatter and former German captain and manager Franz Beckenbauer, a member of Fifa's Executive Committee.

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Hamas could start executing Israel "collaborators"

By Jessica Elgot, April 1, 2010

Hamas may carry out death sentences for men convicted of “collaboration with Israel” within days.

Amnesty International reports that Hamas officials have indicated the sentences may be carried out in the next few days.

Fourteen people are known to have been sentenced to death in Hamas’ military courts, which do not meet international standards for fair trials.

However, more could be facing execution for charges of collaboration, treason and murder.

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Israeli cabinet mulls Obama's proposals for Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, March 29, 2010

US President Barack Obama aims to halt construction completely in east Jerusalem, including the strictly Orthodox neighbourhood of Ramat Shlomo, as part of 10 demands made during his Washington meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel media has reported.

Other demands include ending the demolition of Palestinian neighbourhoods and the re-starting of indirect talks with the Palestinians to decide on future borders.

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