Israel news

Jews and Arabs unite against Charedi town

By Ben Lynfield, October 8, 2009

Arab Israelis and Jewish kibbutz members are both trying to stop the building of the first Charedi city in northern Israel. But the kibbutzniks are wary of being seen as working too closely with Arabs, fearing Jewish public opinion.

Plans spearheaded by the strictly Orthodox Shas party call for the expansion of the small community of Harish, in the heavily Arab Wadi Ara region, into a Charedi city of 150,000 people.

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Shalit video ‘shows Hamas is serious’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2009

The main conclusion of Israeli experts who viewed the video of Gilad Shalit is that Hamas is eager to reach a deal on a prisoner exchange.

The two-and-a-half minute tape handed by Hamas to the German negotiator last week, and broadcast on Israeli television last Friday, confirmed the intelligence assessments regarding Shalit’s condition.

“Nothing we saw there on the tape caused us to fall off our chairs,” said one senior defence official, following detailed analysis of Shalit’s appearance on camera.

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Jerusalem riots 'not new intifada, just Palestinian politics'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2009

Experts believe that the outbreak of riots around the Old City of Jerusalem is not the beginning of a “third intifada”, but an attempt by Palestinian leaders to draw their population’s attention away from recent governmental debacles.

Stone-throwing and violent encounters with police began in Jerusalem, in and around the Old City, last Sunday, on the day before Yom Kippur.

The rioting began when a group of French tourists entered the Al Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount and rumours spread that “the Jews are trying to take over the mosques”.

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Loach film profits to be donated to Israeli cinema

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

The chief executive of Israel’s main cinema group has announced that all profits from screening of the new Ken Loach film in Israel will be dedicated to promoting Israeli films throughout the world, as a response to the maverick director’s continuous actions against Israeli filmmakers.

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Hamas bans Gaza women from motorcycles

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Hamas has banned women from riding motorbikes in Gaza, raising fresh concerns over the movement’s ultra-conservative agenda.

The interior ministry said the ban was to "to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society's customs and traditions".

The move is the latest step in an "Islamification" campaign by Hamas.

In July, a senior judge announce that female lawyers would be obliged to wear headscarves in court, a move slammed by human rights groups.

Hamas have also attempted to ban the display of women’s underwear in shop windows.

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EU 'failed to protect citizens' from Gaza rockets

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Fifteen European citizens living in Israel are taking legal action against the European Union for failing to protect them from Palestinian rocket fire while they are living in Israel.

The citizens, of Britain, France, Italy and Hungary, who are all currently living in Israel, have filed a claim with the European Commission demanding that the EU intervenes in the funding of terrorism in Gaza, and takes action to protect them from terrorists while they live in Israel.

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Nobel Prize for Israeli woman

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

An Israeli has become the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Ada Yonath, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, won the 2009 prize along with American partners Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz for "studies of the structure of the ribosome."

The ribosome is the mechanism in the body which translates the DNA code into life.

The study will be used for advances in antibiotics.

Professor Yonath, who is a single mother, received an honorary degree from Oxford University last year.

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Christians flock to Jersualem for Succot

By Ben Lynfield, October 6, 2009

Soft rock infused with hymns from a 30-person band and choir, invocations in a multitude of tongues, worshippers up on their feet with arms outstretched toward the heavens and perhaps most important of all, a break to plug El Al Israel airlines.

Pilgrims from more than 80 countries attended the Christian evangelical service in Jerusalem on Sunday. It was one of the highlights of the annual Feast of Tabernacles festivities that coincide with Succot, and are organised by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ).

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Police prepare for more Jerusalem violence

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Police in Jerusalem are preparing for more violence in Jerusalem and will be on high alert during today’s annual Succot Jerusalem march, which 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Access to the Temple Mount will be restricted to Muslim women and to Muslim men over the age of 50.

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Israel vice premier cancels UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon has cancelled a trip to London to speak at a JNF charity dinner over fears he may face arrest for war crimes.

Former IDF chief-of-staff Mr Ya’alon said the trip was “cancelled to avoid playing into the hands of anti-Israel propaganda” after the attempted arrest of Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak when he visited the UK last week.

He is believed to have sought legal advice before accepting the invitation to speak at the JNF event on behalf of Benji's Home, a charity for Israeli soldiers with no family in the country.

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