Israel news

Israel revolted by Jordan's justice minister plea for murderer

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has heavily condemned a Jordanian minister’s demands for the early release of a man convicted of murdering seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997.

Ahmed Daqamseh, a former Jordanian soldier, shot the girls with an automatic rifle and injured seven others at Naharayim, a spot on the Israeli-Jordanian border.

The girls were on a school trip when they were murdered.

Daqamseh was sentenced to a life (25 years) behind bars, but this week the new Jordanian justice minister Hussein Mjali joined anti-Israel demonstrators to demand his release.

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Ashkenazi video triggers Stuxnet rumours

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

A video tribute to the outgoing chief of staff of the Israeli army has reignited speculation about whether Israel played a role in a 2009 cyber attack on Iran.

At a party marking Gabi Ashkenazi's departure from his job after four years, the general was treated to a montage of the highlights of his career.

One of the scenes referred to the Stuxnet worm, a virus which it is believed seriously disabled the computer systems at two of Iran’s uranium enrichment sites. However it did not go any further details.

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Security fears at Israeli embassies

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

Security concerns could prompt the closure of four Israeli embassies after officials recorded “a number of irregular incidents targeting Israeli destinations” in the past few days.

Anti-Israel groups are this week marking the third anniversary of the death of high-ranking Hizbollah member Imad Mughniyeh. The terrorist organisation has accused Israel of being behind his death and said it would avenge it.

A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that security at four diplomatic locations had been increased and that the threat was being dealt with.

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Bryan Ferry to perform in Tel Aviv

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

British singer Bryan Ferry is to perform in Israel next month.

The former Roxy Music frontman will sing solo at a Tel Aviv venue in April, in the same week that teenage star Justin Bieber takes to the stage in the city.

The show will take place almost exactly four years after Mr Ferry was forced to apologise for describing Nazi parades and art as “amazing” and “really beautiful” in an interview with a German newspaper.

His Jewish manager Steven Howard later said of the controversy that Mr ferry did not “have a drop of antisemitic or racist blood in his body”.

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Bryan Ferry to perform in Tel Aviv

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

British singer Bryan Ferry is to perform in Israel next month.

The former Roxy Music frontman will sing solo at a Tel Aviv venue in April, in the same week that teenage star Justin Bieber takes to the stage in the city.

The show will take place almost exactly four years after Mr Ferry was forced to apologise for describing Nazi parades and art as “amazing” and “really beautiful” in an interview with a German newspaper.

His Jewish manager Steven Howard later said of the controversy that Mr ferry did not “have a drop of antisemitic or racist blood in his body”.

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Egypt's presidential hopeful: treaty with Israel 'over'

By Jennifer Lipman, February 14, 2011

A senior Egyptian politician who is intending to run for president has called for Egypt to “renegotiate” its peace treaty with Israel.

Despite reassurances from the military, which took over from President Hosni Mubarak after he relinquished power on Friday, that the Camp David Accords would stand, Dr Ayman Nur said the treaty was “over”.

Dr Nur, the leader of the secular Tomorrow Party, who was jailed under Mr Mubarak’s rule, told Egyptian radio: "The role of the Camp David accords…has ended. Egypt must at least renegotiate the terms of the accord."

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Netanyahu: After Egypt, we're ready for anything

By Jennifer Lipman, February 14, 2011

Israel is prepared for “any possibility” in the Arab world following the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this morning.

Describing the events of the last month in the Middle East as an “earthquake”, Mr Netanyahu stressed the importance of maintaining the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, now that President Hosni Mubarak’s regime has been toppled.

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William Hague: Israel and Middle East, not one or other

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2011

William Hague has said that Britain wants to have a good relationship with Israel, irrespective of this country’s links with countries in the region.

The Foreign Secretary, responding to questions put to him on Twitter, said: “We want strong relations with Israel as well as with other countries in the Middle East - it is not one or the other.”

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Israeli grandmother gives birth to 18th baby

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2011

A Jerusalem woman has given birth to her 18th child, a baby boy who is already an uncle twice over.

Rivkah, who has two grandchildren older than her new son, is part of the strictly Orthodox Chasidic community, where large families are not unusual.

But at only 44 years old, Rivkah – who cannot even count a set of twins or triplets among her brood – has gone a step further than many.

And her nine sons and nine daughters also have a large extended family; their mother has 15 siblings.

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Tzipi Livni the clear star of Herzliya

By Stephen Pollard, February 11, 2011

You may have been wondering exactly what Kadima leader Tzipi Livni has been doing for the past 12 months, having apparently spent much of the time on the sidelines of Israeli politics.

The answer, it seems, was sharpening up her vision of what direction Israel should be taking - as her speech to the annual Herzliya conference on Monday demonstrated.

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