Israel news

'Segregation' row in Israeli town of Safed

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 18, 2010

In different circumstances, the Zefat Academic College in the northern town of Safed could have been a poster story for successful integration between the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel.

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Gaza militants warn of more rocket attacks on Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 18, 2010

A warning of an attack on "aggressor Jews” has been posted online by Islamic extremists believed to have al Qaeda links.

The threat, in Hebrew for what is believed to the first time for such a message, was made by a man claiming to be a member of Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna, a militant group which operates in Gaza.

On the 30 second recording he warned that Jews will not be safe from rockets and other violence until they "leave the land of Palestine".

The message is understood to be about revenge for Israel’s killing of two Gazan terrorist leaders earlier this week.

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Harry Potter and the Israeli muggle grave

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

It has been described as a “billion-dollar Zionist project” by an Iranian newspaper and criticised for “corrupting” young souls by the pope. Now it turns out that Harry Potter does have a connection with the Holy Land.

Tourists have been flocking to the Israeli town of Ramla to visit the grave of Harry Potter, a British soldier who died as a teenager in 1939.

Private Potter, unlike his fictional counterpart, grew up in Birmingham and joined the army in 1938.

He was posted to what was then British Mandate Palestine and killed in battle the following year.

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Danny Ayalon: nuclear Iran could lead to another Hiroshima

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister has warned that Iran must be stopped from becoming a nuclear power in order to “prevent another Hiroshima."

Danny Ayalon, who is on a four-day official visit to Japan, made the comments after visiting the memorial for victims of the 1945 Hiroshima bomb.

An estimated 140,000 people were killed by the Hiroshima bomb, the first time that an atomic weapon was used.

Mr Ayalon wrote on his Facebook page: “If we want to prevent another Hiroshima the international community needs immediately to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

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Cabinet agrees last Ethiopian Jews can move to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

The remaining members of the Ethiopian Jewish community are to move to Israel.

After years of wrangling, Israel’s cabinet voted in favour of giving the more than 7,800 Falash Mura Jews citizenship.

The decision, likely to be the final chapter in the saga of the Ethiopian Jewish community, comes almost exactly 26 years after Operation Moses, when Israel airlifted 8,000 Jews out of Ethiopia in secret.

A further 14,000 came to Israel in 1990 on a second airlift, with many more arriving independently.

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Jerusalem mayor meets rock band Linkin Park

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

American rock band Linkin Park could film their next music video in Jerusalem.

Nir Barkat,mayor of Jerusalem, made the offer to the group when he met them on Monday morning. He also invited them to perform at a venue in Jerusalem.

Linkin Park, whose songs include In the End and What I’ve Done, are in Israel for a concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park this evening.

The band, who have spent time in the Old City and at the Western Wall during their visit, told the mayor that they “definitely” plan to visit Jerusalem again.

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Bar Refaeli on Israel holiday

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has joined his Israeli girlfriend Bar Refaeli on a birthday visit to Tel Aviv.

The Inception actor, who has been involved with the supermodel since 2005, is staying at the Dan Hotel in the presidential suite to celebrate his 36th birthday.

The couple, who are on holiday with Mr DiCaprio’s mother Irmelin and Entourage actor Kevin Connelly, will be in Israel for the rest of the week.

They spent the previous week in Egypt with Naomi Campbell before flying in to Israel on a private jet.

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New Gaza boat struggles to sail from Libya

By Jennifer Lipman, November 11, 2010

Pro-Palestinian activists hoping to breach the naval blockade of Gaza have run into trouble off the coast of Libya.

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Two Israelis killed after Negev plane crash

By Jennifer Lipman, November 11, 2010

Two members of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have been killed after their plane crashed in the Negev desert.

The bodies of Major Amichai Itkis, 28, and 30-year-old Major Immanuel Levy were found in the Ramon crater early on Thursday morning, after the crash he previous evening.

They had been flying an F-16I Sufa (Storm) fighter jet on a routine exercise. The IAF has temporarily suspended training flights for Sufa jets.

An IAF committee is investigating the cause of the disaster.

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Fall in West Bank violence

November 11, 2010

Terror activity in the West Bank has reached an all-time low due to the IDF and Shin Bet's efforts, and a major improvement in co-operation with the Palestinian Authority's security forces.

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