Israel news

Scandal clouds top cop appointment

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

The appointment of a new national chief of police has failed to bring calm to the scandal-prone force.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Sunday that he was appointing the commander of the Police's Southern District, Yochanan Danino, as the next Commissioner General of the Police, instead of Dudi Cohen, who will retire in May 2011.

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Orthodox get IDF exemption

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

A series of reforms of yeshivah students' stipends and the announcement of their exemption from army service have become the subject of a coalition disagreement and a rift between the government and the IDF.

The cabinet voted on Sunday 14-8 in favour of a plan formulated by the Prime Minister's Office to continue paying stipends to yeshivah students for another five years, gradually cutting off the payments when they reach the age of 29.

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Oil sparks new Israel-Turkey crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

A new agreement on exploration rights at sea between Israel and Cyprus has once again pushed Israel's relationship with Turkey into a diplomatic crisis. Meanwhile, the talks to end the impasse over Israel's apology for the incident of the Gaza flotilla have bogged down.

Three weeks ago, Turkey's willingness to help Israel fight the blaze on Mount Carmel, signalled by sending two fire-fighting aircraft to battle the flames, gave hope that the stormy relations between the two nations - not long ago strategic allies - could be on the mend.

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Stab victim 'could not wait to make aliyah'

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

Mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the stabbing in the Jerusalem Hills on Saturday in which an American tourist was murdered and a British immigrant to Israel wounded.

Kristine Luken, a Christian Messianic pilgrim from the United States, was walking with her friend Susan Wilson, a tour guide who made aliyah from Britain, near the Hirbet Hanut archaeological site south-west of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, when they were accosted by "two young Arab men".

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Israel fears EU push to upgrade ties with Palestinians

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

Israeli diplomatic representatives in Europe have been directed to try to block plans in ten European countries, including Britain, to boost diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli concern is that the upgrade will be a step towards full recognition of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of an independent state.

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Denzel Washington flashes cash on Israel visit

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

Hollywood actor Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta spent more than £9,000 on jewellery in Jerusalem last week after flying to Israel on a private plane.

The Training Day star, in Israel to visit a friend from his drama school days, spent the money at the Padani jewellery store in the upmarket Mamilla Mall.

He also bought two red-gold wedding rings with the couple’s initials engraved on the inside.

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Netanyahu: I will push Obama to release Pollard

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will push President Barack Obama for the release of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

The Israeli prime minister said in a statement that he would press for the release of Jonathan Pollard "in a formal and public manner".

However White House officials dismissed the possibility of letting the former Navy intelligence analyst out of prison early.

President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said: "I am not aware that that's something that the president is looking at doing.”

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Tributes to 'hero' victim of Carmel forest fire

By Jennifer Lipman, December 21, 2010

Israel’s Prime Minister has paid tribute to the selflessness of a firefighter who died in hospital two weeks after he attempted to put out the most devastating forest fire in Israel’s history.

After visiting the parents of Danny Hayat, Benjamin Netanyahu described the family as “strong, united and brave.”

Mr Hayat, 35 and from Afula, was the 44th victim of the Carmel Forest Fires, which began flaring on December 2.

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Israeli doctors using iPads to treat patients

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

Israeli doctors have found a new use for the Apple iPad.

Staff at the Mayanei Hayeshua hospital in Bnei Brak have been given the tablet computers to help them care for patients.

They are using the technology to check patient records, look at X-ray scans and find out test results.

The iPads, customised for use in Hebrew, can also be used to access information from outside the hospital, so doctors can offer advice to their colleagues at any time of day.

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Stabbed Israeli tour guide tells of her ordeal

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2010

The British-born Israeli woman stabbed in what Israeli police have suggested was a terrorist attack has said she survived the ordeal by pretending to be unconscious.

Kaye Susan Wilson, who moved to Israel in 1991, said that she and an American friend, who died from her wounds, were attacked by two Arab men with a knife while hiking in a forest near Jerusalem.

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