Israel news

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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Gilad Shalit: video of captured Israeli soldier

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009
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The video, filmed on September 14, shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

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Gilad Shalit's family will release video

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

Gilad Shalit's family have announced that they will allow the Prime Minister's Office to publish the videotape of their son, who is held captive in Gaza.

The video, filmed on September 14, apparently shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

The video is also over two minutes long, not one minute as was previously reported.

Shalit is clean-shaven and holding a newspaper with the correct date on it, sitting in a whitewashed room.

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Gilad Shalit video: Israeli soldier is 'healthy and coherent'

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

The video of captured soldier Gilad Shalit has been sent to the Shalit family after being seen by Israeli officials.

The video, filmed on September 14, shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

The video is also over two minutes long, not one minute as was previously reported.

Shalit is said to be clean-shaven, wearing civilian clothes, holding a newspaper with the correct date on it, and standing in front of a sheet with the symbol of the Hamas military wing on it.

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Shalit video released to Israeli officials

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazy has watched the video of Gilad Shalit, and given the green light to release the remaining Palestinian prisoners.

The video is said to show Shalit looking healthy and sounding coherent.

The video is now on its way to the Shalit family, and will also be watched by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

Israel agreed to release 20 Palestinian woman prisoners in exchange for the video, the first released of Shalit since his capture in 2006.

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Israel may set up official inquiry into Cast Lead

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

The Israeli government is considering whether to set up an official commission of enquiry into Operation Cast Lead in the wake of the United Nations Goldstone report.

The investigation, prepared by Judge Richard Goldstone for the United Nations Human Rights Council and presented two weeks ago, accused the IDF of committing war crimes during the Gaza operation in January.

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Attack on Iran: the clock is ticking 'until Pesach'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

As on every Yom Kippur for the past 35 years, Israeli newspapers, television and radio channels this week were full of interviews, features and special projects, picking at the unhealed wound of the terrible war that took a nation and its military idols by surprise.

But while the Yom Kippur War remains a trauma to this day, Israel’s current strategic predicament is much more reminiscent of the Six-Day War.

Then as now, the political leadership remains uncertain whether the looming threat — this time, from Iran — is indeed an existential one.

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Anger at rule on gender segragation near Kotel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

A move by the rabbi of the Western Wall to gender-segregate ceremonies taking place near Judaism’s holiest shrine is causing consternation.

Officials at the Jewish Agency are considering changing the venue of the ceremony at which new immigrants to Israel are given their first identity cards. According to the decision of the Western Wall Heritage Fund, headed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, women and men would be forced to sit separately and women would not be allowed to speak from the podium.

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First prisoner released in Shalit swap

By Jessica Elgot, October 1, 2009

Israel has released the first Palestinian prisoner in the deal for a video of captured soldier Gilad Schalit.

The released prisoner, 15-year-old Bara'a el-Malki, who was convicted of attempted manslaughter, has now returned to her home in the Jilazoun refugee camp near Ramallah.

She had been due for release in November.

Israel agreed to release 20 Palestinian woman prisoners in exchange for video proof that Mr Shalit is alive.

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