Israel news

IDF looking into dancing soldier video

By Jennifer Lipman, October 5, 2010

Israel has condemned the perpetrator of a video that appears to show a soldier dancing next to a blindfolded Palestinian.

An IDF investigation has been launched into the clip, which features a woman in a headscarf and black robe.

The video was filmed and uploaded on to the internet in 2008 but only emerged this week,

An IDF spokesman said: “This will be done in any case that raises suspicions of similar conduct in the future."

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Israel deports Nobel prize activist

By Jennifer Lipman, October 5, 2010

Israel has deported an Irish activist who described Israel as an apartheid state during a court hearing.

The Supreme Court upheld the ban imposed last week on Máiread Maguire entering Israel for the next ten years.

Ms Maguire, a Nobel laureate, was banned from entering Israel in June after she took part in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza.

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Máiread Maguire rebuked by Israeli judge

By Jennifer Lipman, October 4, 2010

An Israeli judge has warned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Máiread Maguire that the courtroom is “not a place for propaganda” after she called Israel an “apartheid” state during a deportation hearing.

The Belfast-born activist is in court appealing against a ban on her entering Israel for the next ten years.
Ms Maguire, 66, was barred from Israel in June after she took part in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza.

After the Rachel Corrie ship was boarded and redirected to Ashdod, Ms Maguire gave written confirmation that she would not attempt to enter Israel again.

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Nobel prize activist to appeal Israel ban

By Jennifer Lipman, October 4, 2010

Máiread Maguire, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, will appear in court in Israel today to appeal against a deportation order.

If her appeal is unsuccessful the activist will be barred from Israel for ten years.

Ms Maguire arrived in Israel on September 28 but was denied entry at Ben Gurion airport because she had been deported in June for trying to breach the naval blockade and reach the Gaza Strip by boat.

The ship, known as the Rachel Corrie, was boarded by the Navy and redirected to Ashdod.

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Nobel prize activist causes scene at airport

By Jennifer Lipman, September 29, 2010

Máiread Maguire, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has flouted the orders of Ben Gurion airport security officials by refusing to board a plane out of Israel.

Ms Maguire was prohibited from entering Israel following her involvement in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza in June. She was deported after the Rachel Corrie ship was boarded by the Navy and redirected to Ashdod.

At the time, she gave written confirmation that she would not attempt to enter Israel again. However onlookers said the 65-year-old caused a scene by refusing to board the flight to Britain.

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Weizmann Institute founding member dies at 92

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

A scientist who helped found Israel’s prestigious Weizmann Institute has died at the age of 92.

Professor Israel Dostrovsky, who served as the Institute’s fifth president, was also the chief scientist at Israel’s defence ministry under Yitzhak Rabin.

Born in Odessa, Prof Dostrovsky moved to what was then British mandate Palestine in 1919. After a period spent studying and then lecturing in chemistry at University College, London, he returned to Israel after the country gained independence.

In 1948 he joined the Weizmann Institute, becoming its president in 1972.

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Jewish boat boarded before reaching Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

A boat carrying a group of Jewish pro-Palestinian activists who had planned to break the naval blockade of Gaza is believed to have been peacefully intercepted by Israeli soldiers.

The “Jewish boat” was boarded by Israel’s navy after the crew refused to change course. The IDF said they ignored two warnings that continuing into the blockaded waters would be a breach of Israeli and international law.

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Revolution in the Israeli army

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 28, 2010

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi is widely credited with putting Israel's military back on an operational footing after the Second Lebanon War. But when he ends his military career in five months' time, he may be remembered for an altogether more profound change in Israeli society.

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Rabbis hit out at Christian funding for Holocaust centre

By Nathan Jeffay, September 28, 2010

Leading Israeli rabbis are furious that a new residential facility for Holocaust survivors is being funded by evangelical Christians.

Last Sunday dignitaries and politicians attended the opening of the largest assisted-living facility for destitute Holocaust survivors in Israel.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, an umbrella organisation for evangelical groups, donated NIS 3 million (£517,000) to local non-Christian charity Yad Ezer L'Haver so that it could expand a 15-resident facility to accommodate 80 survivors.

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Comment: Areas left by Israel still mostly empty

By Moeen Elhelou, September 28, 2010

Just over five years after the Israelis left the Gaza Strip, the area they evacuated is practically unrecognisable. There is no evidence left at all that 8,000 Jews ever lived there. The rubble from the settlers' houses destroyed by the Israelis before they left has long been cleared. The al Toufah checkpoint near Khan Yunis in the south is ancient history.

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