Israel news

Analysis: Left's new tactic: attack Charedim

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 6, 2010

New data on the low share of the Charedi community in the Israeli workforce has re-ignited the rift in secular-ultra-Orthodox relations. And while elections are not expected to take place for at least three years, it is already clear that a number of parties will be eager to campaign on this issue.

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'Proximity talks' stall before they begin

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 6, 2010

The Israeli government is concerned that the Palestinian Authority is trying to blame it for the failure of the "proximity talks" before they have even started.

The indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians were scheduled to begin on Wednesday but despite the arrival in the region of American mediator George Mitchell, the Palestinian Authority had still not agreed to attend the talks at press time.

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Hamas official's daughter treated in Israel

By Jessica Elgot, May 6, 2010

The daughter of a senior Hamas official in Gaza has been treated for a heart condition by Israeli surgeons in Ashkelon, as she was too sick to travel to Jordan.

The girl, aged 3, who is the daughter of Hams Interior Minister Elham Fathi Hammed had previously been treated unsuccessfully in Gaza.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is believed to have personally requested the Israeli authorities to allow the girl to be transported through Israel for surgery in Jordan.

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Teenage girl suspected of synagogue arson

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

A teenage girl has been arrested for a suspected arson attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, which she claims was revenge for harassment by her Charedi neighbours.

The girl, who has not been named, is suspected of setting fire near the Ark at the Heichal Shlomo synagogue on Pnim Meirot Street, during Lag B’Omer.

She will be held in custody for police questioning until this evening.

Police said that the girl is believed to have carried a lighter into the synagogue and set fire to the cantor’s platform and the screen in front of the Ark.

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Mitchell arrives in Israel to start peace talks

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

US Special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has arrived in Israel ready to start new indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli media have reported that the talks are gearing up to start as soon as Wednesday.

But the Palestinian Authority has refused to participate in the talks until it has the backing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which will not meet until Sunday.

Talks, mediated by Mr Mitchell, were agreed last month but the PA cancelled after an Israeli announcement that new homes had been approved in Ramat Shlomo, east Jerusalem.

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Netanyahu gets away with Jerusalem policy

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 29, 2010

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes he has turned a corner in his difficult relationship with the American administration and that peace talks are now possible without a commitment to freeze building in east Jerusalem.

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Lag B'Omer bonfires challenged by Chief

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 29, 2010

The ancient custom of lighting bonfires on Lag Ba'Omer is being challenged for both religious and ecological reasons.

The tradition of lighting bonfires on the eve of Lag Ba'Omer, which falls on Sunday, has become a popular custom in Israel, for religious and secular youngsters alike. But the prevalence of the custom, which causes large clouds of thick smoke above most Israeli citiesm, is raising concern amongst rabbis and environmentalists.

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Yossi Benayoun's dad 'assaulted his wife'

By Simon Griver, April 29, 2010

The father of Liverpool footballer Yossi Benayoun has been charged with assaulting his wife during a row on Saturday night.

Yehuda Benayoun, 57, was arrested on Sunday morning after allegedly slapping Zeri Benayoun in the face and hitting her on the shoulder. She had complained to police in the Negev town of Dimona.

Mr Benayoun claims he pushed her in retaliation and his solicitor Natalie Fourian said: "My client has done nothing wrong and is confident that the truth will come to light in court."

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Israel and Palestinian peace talks to start "in two weeks"

By Robyn Rosen, April 28, 2010

Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, has announced that new peace negotiations with Palestinian leaders could start within a fortnight.

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is due to fly to Cairo on Monday to discuss the talks, the first since 2008, with Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.

He told his Likud party in Tuesday that he had heard that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president “intends to renew the talks. I will be very glad if this will indeed be carried out next week,” he said.

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IDF soldiers rapped for West Bank deaths

By Jessica Elgot, April 27, 2010

Three IDF officers have been disciplined and one demoted over the killing of four Palestinians during protests in the West Bank.

The shootings happened in March this year near the Palestinian village of Iraq Burin and the day after at the Awarta checkpoint.

Troops were deployed into the area to stop Palestinian protesters storming the settlement of Bracha.

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