Israel news

Stab victim 'could not wait to make aliyah'

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

Mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the stabbing in the Jerusalem Hills on Saturday in which an American tourist was murdered and a British immigrant to Israel wounded.

Kristine Luken, a Christian Messianic pilgrim from the United States, was walking with her friend Susan Wilson, a tour guide who made aliyah from Britain, near the Hirbet Hanut archaeological site south-west of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, when they were accosted by "two young Arab men".

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Israel fears EU push to upgrade ties with Palestinians

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

Israeli diplomatic representatives in Europe have been directed to try to block plans in ten European countries, including Britain, to boost diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli concern is that the upgrade will be a step towards full recognition of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of an independent state.

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Denzel Washington flashes cash on Israel visit

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

Hollywood actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta spent more than £9,000 on jewellery in Jerusalem last week after flying to Israel on a private plane.

The Training Day star, in Israel to visit a friend from his drama school days, spent the money at the Padani jewellery store in the upmarket Mamilla Mall.

He also bought two red-gold wedding rings with the couple’s initials engraved on the inside.

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Netanyahu: I will push Obama to release Pollard

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will push President Barack Obama for the release of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

The Israeli prime minister said in a statement that he would press for the release of Jonathan Pollard "in a formal and public manner".

However White House officials dismissed the possibility of letting the former Navy intelligence analyst out of prison early.

President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said: "I am not aware that that's something that the president is looking at doing.”

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Tributes to 'hero' victim of Carmel forest fire

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2010

Israel’s Prime Minister has paid tribute to the selflessness of a firefighter who died in hospital two weeks after he attempted to put out the most devastating forest fire in Israel’s history.

After visiting the parents of Danny Hayat, Benjamin Netanyahu described the family as “strong, united and brave.”

Mr Hayat, 35 and from Afula, was the 44th victim of the Carmel Forest Fires, which began flaring on December 2.

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Israeli doctors using iPads to treat patients

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

Israeli doctors have found a new use for the Apple iPad.

Staff at the Mayanei Hayeshua hospital in Bnei Brak have been given the tablet computers to help them care for patients.

They are using the technology to check patient records, look at X-ray scans and find out test results.

The iPads, customised for use in Hebrew, can also be used to access information from outside the hospital, so doctors can offer advice to their colleagues at any time of day.

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Stabbed Israeli tour guide tells of her ordeal

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

The British-born Israeli woman stabbed in what Israeli police have suggested was a terrorist attack has said she survived the ordeal by pretending to be unconscious.

Kaye Susan Wilson, who moved to Israel in 1991, said that she and an American friend, who died from her wounds, were attacked by two Arab men with a knife while hiking in a forest near Jerusalem.

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Anti-Arab ruling sparks fury

By Michal Levertov, December 16, 2010

A rabbinical edict which prohibits Jews from renting and selling homes to non-Jews has provoked uproar across Israel.

The ruling, which has been signed by over 200 chief rabbis, is to be examined by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who is looking into bringing charges of incitement.

The Abraham Fund, an Israeli Jewish-Arab co-existence organisation, said that the authorities' slow response to a similar decree issued by Safed's chief rabbi, Shmuel Elyiahu, six weeks ago, encouraged this group of rabbis to make their provocative opinions known.

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Blaze devastated our service, says Manchester-raised head of prisons

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 16, 2010

The Prisons Service is not usually the most prominent of security agencies in Israel.

But it came well and truly into the spotlight after the blaze on Mount Carmel killed 37 of its members, including cadets and instructors on a select officers' course.

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Peace talksgo back to the drawing board

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 16, 2010

Following its failure to secure a second settlement freeze, the Obama administration is now pushing for indirect talks over the "core" issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

The senior US negotiator George Mitchell resumed the "shuttle diplomacy" between Jerusalem and Ramallah this week, after four fruitless months spent trying to enable direct talks.

Mr Mitchell and the Prime Minister met for over three hours on Monday in a meeting that, according to Israeli sources, was mainly dedicated to "working out a new procedure for the negotiations with the Palestinians".

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