Israel news

Israeli air exercises go on despite Romania deaths

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 5, 2010

The Israeli Air Force will continue carrying out long-range exercises abroad, despite the helicopter crash last week in Romania in which six Israeli aircrew and one Romanian liaison officer were killed.

Exercise "Blue Skies" was scheduled to take place for two weeks over Romania, but was terminated last Monday when an IAF CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopter crashed in the Carpathian Mountains killing all seven on board.

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Israel vows payback for Hamas after Eilat attack

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 5, 2010

Israel has said it will retaliate against Hamas after two attacks by Grad missiles on Ashkelon and Eilat in the space of three days heightened tension in the south of Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyanhu told Israelis in a TV broadcast that the terrorist organisation was responsible for the attacks on Israel and another on Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba, where one man died.

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Jerusalem culture season planned

By Martin Bright, August 5, 2010

A Jerusalem Season of Culture, an annual event to promote the arts of the city is to be launched next summer.

The event is part of a drive by the artistic community in Jerusalem to show an alternative perspective of a city often associated with division, violence and religious fanaticism.

Figures in the political, business and cultural worlds in Jerusalem are also keen to remove the Israeli capital from the shadow of its more hedonistic neighbour Tel Aviv.

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Analysis: Shoot-out in Lebanon is an ominous sign

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 5, 2010

The short but very sharp battle on the Lebanese border on Tuesday which took the lives of an Israeli battalion commander, three Lebanese soldiers and one reporter, may turn out to be an isolated incident. By evening, calm had returned to Israel's north, but it is a worrying indication of the state of affairs in the land ofthe cedars.

The direct fire at the Israeli command post, during a routine maintenance operation across the border fence but well within Israeli territory, was at the orders of a low-level officer, but it is still unclear whether he was acting on his own initiative.

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Tel Aviv a top beach city

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

Tel Aviv has been named one of the ten best beach cities in the world.

A National Geographic survey placed the Mediterranean coastal city on the list alongside Honolulu and Rio de Janeiro.

The magazine described the city, home to everything from a buzzing port, busy markets and sandy beaches, as “Miami Beach on the Med”

Although Tel Aviv was beaten to the top seaside spot by Barcelona, Israel was the only Middle Eastern country to make the list.

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UNIFIL: Israel did not cross Lebanon border

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

United Nations peacekeepers have contradicted Lebanese claims that Israeli forces were operating within Lebanese territory before a border flare-up which led to the deaths of four people.

The fighting has raised international concerns that Israel’s relationship with Lebanon could deteriorate, less than four years after a ceasefire was negotiated to end the Second Lebanon War with Hizbollah.

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IDF: Lebanon fired first

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

Israel has said Lebanese forces fired the first shots in a clash on the border and warned of “consequences” if the incident is repeated.

Lebanese officials claimed they had only fired “warning shots” because Israelis had been trying to cut down a tree in Lebanon. But Israel said its soldiers “were on routine activity in Israeli territory”.

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Jail delay for Arab 'rapist' who posed as Jew

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

An Israeli court has postponed the sentence of an Arab man convicted of rape by deception after he had consensual sex with a Jerusalem woman while posing as a Jew.

The high court also called for Sabbar Kashur’s remand conditions to be eased. The 30-year-old married father has been under house arrest for two years.

Last month Mr Kashur was sentenced to 18 months in jail for presenting himself as a Jewish bachelor to a woman he met and then had sex with soon after in a nearby building.

The woman said she would not have consented if she had known he was not Jewish.

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Flare up on Israel-Lebanon border

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

Israeli troops have reportedly been shot at near the border with Lebanon.

According to security officials Galilee residents have been ordered into bomb shelters after explosions believed to be caused by a mortar shell fired into the area.

Initial reports suggest there has been an exchange of fire between Israeli and Lebanese forces.

Two Lebanese soldiers are believed to have been killed.

The flare up on the border comes four years after the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hizbollah.

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Dawson's Creek star has Tel Aviv wedding

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

Actor James Van Der Beek has married his pregnant fiancée at a Kabbalah ceremony in Israel.

The star, who shot to fame as a Steven Spielberg-worshipping teenager on the 1990s series Dawson’s Creek, was married by "Rabbi" Yehuda Berg in Tel Aviv.

Mr Berg also officiated over the nuptials of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher in 2005.

The bride, model Kimberly Brook, wore a black dress while Mr Van Der Beek, 33, chose a white Armani tuxedo. The pair, who met in Israel last year, are expecting their first child in the autumn.

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