Israel news

Lebanon war victims sue Al-Jazeera

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A group of victims of Hizbollah rocket attacks have begun legal action against the Al-Jazeera television network for allegedly aiding the terror group.

The 91 Israelis and North Americans claim that the Qatari media organisation’s coverage of the conflict helped Hizbollah aim missiles more accurately during the 2006 second Lebanon war.

According to those bringing the case, Al-Jazeera’s real-time broadcasts regarding the location of missile strikes enabled Hizbollah to strike civilian centres more effectively .


Exodus doctor dies at 86

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A British-born doctor who cared for passengers on board the Exodus ship as it sailed to pre-state Israel has been buried in Jersualem.

Dr Joshua Cohen, from Glasgow, who looked after the 4,500 Holocaust survivors on the ill-fated journey, died in Israel last week, aged 86.

As a newly qualified doctor, he volunteered on the ship setting up clinics for the passengers and helped those injured during fighting with British troops.

Following the Exodus journey he served in the British Army and the Israeli Medical Corps, and later became deputy director of Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.


Flotilla probe: IDF made intelligence mistakes

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 13, 2010

The team of military experts appointed to investigate the IDF operation against the Gaza flotilla found a series of mistakes in the intelligence-gathering and planning stages of the mission.

However, they praised the actions of the naval commandos who carried out the May raid on the Mavi Marmara, in which nine Turkish activists were killed.


Woman arrested for Western Wall prayer

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

Progressive groups in Israel have spoken out against the arrest of a woman for attempting to read from the Torah at the Western Wall.

Police in Jerusalem brought Anat Hoffman in for questioning after she was found with the scroll at the time of morning prayers, in violation of a Supreme Court ruling requiring women to pray from the Torah at an alternative site.

It follows the arrest of another Israeli woman in 2009 for wearing a tallit and a kippah while carrying a Torah scroll at the Western Wall. Both acts have drawn fire from Israel’s strictly Orthodox groups.


Israel welcomes heroic Mumbai nanny

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

The Indian woman who saved a Jewish child during the Mumbai terror attacks nearly two years ago is set to become an Israeli citizen within a year.

Israel’s interior Minister Eli Yishai has offered Sandra Samuel temporary residential status, the first step towards permanent citizenship. He called it a necessary “humanitarian move” to help Ms Samuel stay in Israel.

Ms Samuel was a nanny for Israeli-born Rabbi Gavriel Holztberg and his wife Rivka when Islamist terrorists attacked the Mumbai Chabad centre in 2008 in a murderous rampage.


Shalit march reaches Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

A march to draw attention to Gilad Shalit’s plight has reached Jerusalem after a 12 day walk across the country by the captured soldier’s family and their supporters.

More than 20,000 people are expected to march to the official residence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before a rally in Independence Park.

The march began at the Shalit family home in Mitzpe Hila, Galilee, and Gilad’s father Noam has vowed to stay camped outside Mr Netanyahu’s home until his son is freed.


Eilat buckles under pressure of illegal African migrants

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

Eilat is struggling to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants from Africa, who now form some 10 per cent of the holiday town's population.

Hundreds of Africans, mainly from Sudan but also from Eritrea, Somalia, Ivory Coast and Ghana, cross over the Israel-Egypt border every month. Most try to reach Tel-Aviv, but many remain down south and gravitate either to the Negev city of Arad, or to Eilat.


Jewish studies compulsory for Israelis

By Nathan Jeffay, July 8, 2010

Jewish Studies is to become compulsory in Israel's high schools from this September.

Currently, Israeli pupils learn Bible for two hours a week, but schools are not obliged to teach anything about post-biblical Judaism.

Religious schools choose to set aside time for Jewish Studies, but in non-Orthodox schools it is taught according to head-teachers' discretion and is often discarded.


Lebanon uncovers more Israeli 'spies'

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

The capture of another group of alleged "Israeli spies" in Lebanon indicates the depth of Israel's penetration into the country's infrastructure and upper echelons.

Last week Charbel Qazzi, a senior executive at the Alfa mobile phone company, in charge of transmissions and broadcasting, was arrested on suspicion that he had helped Israeli intelligence plant listening devices at the heart of Lebanon's telecommunications infrastructure. The detention is causing shockwaves that are reverberating throughout the country's business, political and security circles.


Poland to deport Israeli

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Poland is to deport an alleged Mossad agent to Germany.

Uri Brodsky, an Israeli suspected of involvement in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai, has three days to appeal the extradition order.

He was arrested in Warsaw in June for allegedly helping a Mossad agent obtain a false German passport by using a concocted story.

Judge Tomasz Talkiewicz said the court had not decided whether Mr Brodsky was behind the forgery.

He said: “The court only checked whether the extradition request fulfils the formal requirements and whether the suspect is correctly identified.”