Israel news

Jewish 'terrorist': God is proud of me

By Jessica Elgot, November 12, 2009

Jewish “terrorist” Ya’akov Teitel, who is charged with the murder of two Palestinians, has told an Israeli court: “God is proud of me.”

Mr Teitel, 37, an American immigrant who lives in the Shvut Rachel settlement in the West Bank with his Manchester-born wife Rivka, is charged with 14 offences.

Charges include two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, and include alleged attacks on gay, left-wing and messianic Jews.

He is accused of murdering a Palestinian taxi driver in East Jerusalem and a Palestinian shepherd in the West Bank.

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Palestinian cave man fights 'eviction'

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

A Palestinian man who lives in a cave near Jerusalem has been threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.

Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, 48, claims he was brought up in the cave as a child. Now he has moved back to the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to stake his claim to his five acres in Al Walajah.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s family, including his ten children currently live in a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

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Abbas may resign before election

By Jessica Elgot, November 9, 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told Egyptian leaders that he may not wait until the next election to resign.

Mr Abbas has announced that he will not seek reelection as president of the Palestinian Authority.

The Egyptian delegation, led by the country’s Palestinian ambassador Yasser Othman, was visting Ramallah in order to try and urge Mr Abbas to continue as president, Haaretz reported.

Mr Abbas had come under fire in recent months because he did not immediately throw his backing behind the UN Goldstone Report, causing tensions between Hamas and Fatah.

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Lev Leviev agrees to debt deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

Israeli billionaire and Lubavitch philanthropist Lev Leviev has reached an agreement to refinance the loans that his company took out from banks and pension funds in Israel.

Africa-Israel announced two months ago that it would have trouble repaying the loans, which total £1.2 billion. Mr Leviev will pay about ten per cent of the debt from his private funds and be allowed to retain control of the company.

Part of the loans will be repaid in Africa-Israel shares and the rest of the repayments will be spread over the next ten years.

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Jewish 'terrorist' charged with killing gays, Arabs, Jews

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 5, 2009

A Jewish “terrorist” who has allegedly confessed to a string of murders and terror attacks was remanded in custody for a week in a Petah Tikvah court on Wednesday.

As part of the ongoing investigation, Ya’akov Teitel’s Manchester-born wife, Rivka, was arrested as she drove to a remand hearing for her husband, and was separated from her baby. The couple have four children and live in the Shvut Rachel settlement on the West Bank.

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Murder raises questions over Israeli immigration

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

It took the police only six days to crack Israel’s most vicious murder, but despite the arrest of the alleged killer and his detailed confession, the case has raised serious questions about the country’s immigration policy.

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An unsettled alliance

By Anshel Pfeffer and Ben Lynfield, November 5, 2009

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to Washington next week for a meeting with President Obama in a much friendlier atmosphere than their past two meetings.

The improvement in relations between the White House and Jerusalem came as the Obama Administration took more Israel-friendly positions on the issue of settlements and the Goldstone Report.

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Israel zoo experiences hippo overload

By Keren David, November 5, 2009

The land of Jaffa oranges and Hass avocados has a new export success. Israel emerged this week as the world’s leading supplier of hippopotami.

An Israeli zoo, the Ramat Gan Safari, has shipped 14 of the massive mammals to zoos around the world in recent months. The animals have been sent to new homes in Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

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Miliband: Stop violence and evictions in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, October 29, 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has expressed concern over worsening tensions in Jerusalem, and said Britain would press the Israeli government to halt evictions in East Jerusalem.

In a telephone conversation with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mr Miliband also expressed his anger with Hamas to Prime Minster Salam Fayyad.

The militant group yesterday urged Palestinians to boycott the January elections in Gaza, threatening violence against those who did not.

Mr Miliband said in a statement: “This betrays the Palestinians in Gaza who have suffered so much in the past year.”

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Israeli films win prizes at London Film Festival

By Jessica Elgot, October 29, 2009

Two Israeli films have won top prizes at the London film festival

Israeli director Yoav Shamir has won the Grierson prize for documentary for his film Defamation, which looks at antisemitism around the world.

The Sutherland award for the best first feature film went to Ajami, a film set in Jaffa in a mixed Jewish and Arab neighbourhood. It was directed by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani.

The film has also been placed on the short list of nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards.

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