Israel news

Jewish tourists stranded worldwide by volcano

By Robyn Rosen, April 22, 2010

The volcanic ash cloud left hundreds of Jewish tourists stranded across the world and dozens of communal events had to be scrapped.

More than 100 El Al flights to and from Israel were cancelled and tour operators struggled to cope with stranded passengers.

One flight that did manage to take off during last week's chaos was forced to turn back mid-way through its journey.

Monty and Frances Samuels, from Hampstead Garden Suburb, were returning to London from Ben Gurion Airport after attending their grandson's barmitzvah in Jerusalem.


Two rockets fired at Eilat, hit Jordan

By Jessica Elgot, April 22, 2010

Two rockets have been fired towards Eilat by Egyptian terrorists, but landed at the Jordanian side of the border.

A terrorist group, believed to have links with al-Qaeda, have claimed responsibility for the attack which caused damage to a factory in an Jordainiain industrial estate at around 5am.

The Katyusha rockets, aimed at Israel, are believed to have been fired from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

No injuries have so far been reported from the rockets. One landed close to the city of Aqaba and one hit offshore in the Red Sea.


West Bank settlers attack soldiers

By Jessica Elgot, April 21, 2010

Settlers from the West Bank town of Yitzhar have wounded an IDF soldier, hurled stones and slashed the tyres of a military vehicle.

The IDF strongly condemned the attacks, said to be in response to a closed military zone order against the settlers to keep them from entering the Palestinian village of Madma, south of Nablus.

The settlers, mainly teenagers, had intended to visit Madma on Yom Ha’atzmaut to protest against the settlement building freeze. A clash ensued after security forces tried to prevent the settlers from going any further.


New Executive editor for Jerusalem Post

By Jessica Elgot, April 21, 2010

The Jerusalem Post has announced a new Executive Editor, Amir Mizroch, who will work under David Horovitz, the Editor-in-Chief.

Mr Mizroch, 34, has been news editor of the English-language Israeli newspaper since 2005, and was previously managing editor of the website,

A keen Twitterer and blogger, Mr Mizroch will be responsible for launching new products for the Post, as well as managing financial and editorial operations.

He is a native Hebrew speaker, educated in South Africa, and has worked in print and online in North America, Russia, Europe and India.


Peres and Netanyahu sing for Yom Ha'atzmaut

By Jessica Elgot, April 20, 2010

President Shimon Peres led senior members of the Israeli government, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a rousing chorus of Yom Ha’atzmaut songs during the celebrations at his home.

The special celebration was attended by Mr Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi, the army chief of staff.

The songs were specially selected by each of the leaders. They entertained a crowd of 120 “outstanding” IDF soldiers, IDF and Palmach veterans.


El Al London flights remain grounded

By Jessica Elgot, April 20, 2010

El Al has resumed flights to Zurich, Paris, Marseilles, Vienna and Budapest, but London airspace remains closed.

The company’s spokesman confirmed that some European flights would be resuming, but not those to London. Scottish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports opened at 1pm today, and Newcastle Airport was also receiving flights.

El Al flies from London Luton and London Heathrow to Tel Aviv.


Israel bans Apple's iPads

By Jessica Elgot, April 19, 2010

Israel has banned Apple iPads from entering the country, and has seized at least 20 of the high-tech gadgets at customs.

The US-built iPads, which function like a flat, touchscreen computer, are built to broadcast at higher power levels than those used in Israel, and thus could disrupt Israeli wireless connections.

Customs officials at Ben Gurion airport will look after the iPads, for a fee, until their owners collect them on their return home.


US may impose own Middle East peace plan

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Israeli diplomats are coming round to the idea that the White House could try to impose its own peace plan on the Israelis and Palestinians for the first time in four decades.

In addition to reports by well-sourced correspondents in the American media, there have been a number of signals in recent days that the administration is planning to present its own peace plan. The next visit to the region by US representative George Mitchell has been repeatedly postponed, giving rise to the speculation that President Barack Obama has decided to change tack.


'Israel was close to war this winter'

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Syria smuggled long-range missiles to Hizbollah in Lebanon earlier this year, leading to Israeli threats to attack the weapons convoys, it has emerged. Such an attack could have escalated into another war on Israel’s northern border.


Gaza tunnels 'shut down by Hamas'

By Jessica Elgot, April 14, 2010

Hamas has ordered Gazans to shut down the network of tunnels used for smuggling along the border with Egypt, in an unprecedented move.

Gazans told Israeli media that they believed the closure of the tunnels was in response to security requests from Egypt. The move comes shortly after Israelis were advised to leave the Sinai peninsula after an urgent warning of an imminent kidnap attempt by Hamas.