Israel news

'Israel' Twitter sold for less than claimed

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2010

A man who was believed to have sold the Twitter username @Israel for a six-figure sum did not receive that amount, according to the Israeli government.

Israel Meléndez, a Spaniard who runs an adult entertainment website in Miami, had boasted of high earnings from the sale of the account last month to the Israeli foreign ministry.

But an MFA spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that although Mr Meléndez asked for a six-figure-sum he was only paid $3,000 (£1,900).

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Mitchell urges 'responsibility' as peace talks close

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2010

Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Sharm el-Sheikh have ended without agreement on the future construction of Jewish settlements.

However US envoy George Mitchell, who attended today’s talks, said that “the parties have begun a serious discussion on core issues" and that the framework of a deal within a year was still possible.

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Twitter user sells name Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2010

A Miami man claims to have sold the Twitter username @Israel for a reported six-figure amount.

Israel Meléndez, who is originally from Spain, created the account in 2007 when Twitter was a fledgling company. However abusive messages were sent to the account and he stopped using it regularly.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper Público, Mr Meléndez said that the Israeli government had asked to buy the name from him.

The Israeli foreign ministry, which was operating as @israelMFA, became @israel last month.

Mr Meléndez said: “I had not used it at all for months.”

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Borders deal could eliminate settlement question

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2010

Hillary Clinton has said that “there are lots of ways” for peace talks to proceed between Israel and the Palestinians despite concerns that the upcoming expiry of the West Bank construction freeze will derail the negotiations.

The partial ban on building of Jewish settlements is scheduled to end on September 26, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had warned that he might walk out of talks if it is not extended.

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Travel chaos as Israeli air staff strike

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2010

Almost 30,000 people are expected to suffer disruption to flights to and from Israel in the lead-up to Yom Kippur because of a strike by Israeli airport staff.

Flights out of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport have been grounded indefinitely.

Union officials said initially that planes would be allowed to land but that ground crews would not unload luggage. However they have now agreed to let passengers collect their luggage.

The strike has been organised by the Israel Airports Authority's employees' union following the breakdown of negotiations over the use of staff pension funds.

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Jerusalem picked as top travel destination

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2010

Jerusalem has been named as one of the top ten tourist destinations in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards.

The Israeli city is seventh on the holiday website’s annual list of the top Culture & Sightseeing Destinations in the World.

Jerusalem, commended for its “profound cultural and historical significance,” is ranked higher than London on the list.

The site advises tourists to visit the “major sights” but not to forget to “walk through the streets and simply immerse yourself in the daily life of such an ancient and revered place.”

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Arab boy's organs save lives

By Leon Symons, September 7, 2010

Organs from a three-and-a-half-year-old Palestinian boy who died after a tragic accident have saved the lives of three people.

Abdul Hai Salhut fell near his home in Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem about ten days ago. He was taken by his family to a local hospital and then transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where he underwent surgery. But despite the efforts of doctors to keep him alive, his condition deteriorated and he died on Thursday.

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Israelis revolt against early winter time

By Simon Griver, September 7, 2010

Tens of thousands of Israelis have signed a petition protesting against the early end of summertime.

For many years, Israelis have moved their clocks back one hour in the run-up to Yom Kippur in order to make the fast easier by enabling it to be broken an hour earlier.

But this year, because the High Holy Days fall so early, many Israelis are upset by the loss of an hour's daylight in the evenings. Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz is proposing a Knesset bill that would make Israel fall in line with the EU, which ends summertime on the last Sunday in October.

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Iran shows it is rattled by Israel

By Meir Javedanfar, September 7, 2010

"If Iran is attacked, with our fire we will turn the night into broad daylight over Israel. Our missiles will target all their cities, and the reactor at Dimona will be no exception," a commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards recently threatened in the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai Al Alam.

These are not mere words of bravado. They are also a clear sign that Iran's rulers are actually worried about the possibility of a military strike by Israel.

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Study: Israelis are not as charitable as they think

By Nathan Jeffay, September 7, 2010

In the run up to Rosh Hashanah in Israel, as everywhere else in the Jewish world, charities have been busy trying to convince people to donate. But research shows that Israelis do not give as generously as people might think.

For several years, Israelis have had a reputation as the second most giving people in the world. The Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Civil Society Studies ranks Israel second only to America in terms of donations as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP) – 1.34 per cent compared to America's 1.85 per cent.

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