Israel news

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.


Hague condemns West bank construction plans

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

The Foreign Secretary has described plans to build nearly 1,300 homes in East Jerusalem as an “obstacle to peace”.

The proposed construction, in the Har Homa and Ramot settlements, has been approved by Israel’s interior ministry. But a ministry official said building would be unlikely to begin for several years.

However William Hague, who has just returned from an official visit to Israel, said: “The latest announcement…is extremely disappointing and unhelpful.

“Their construction should stop.”


Ariel Sharon to be moved to Negev ranch

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is to be moved from his Tel Aviv hospital bed to his home in the Negev.

According to Israel’s Ynet newspaper, following a request from his sons an ambulance will take Mr Sharon to Sycamore Ranch, where his wife Lily was buried after her death in 2000.

The intention is for him to go there permanently but he will initially be there for only a few days while medical procedures are checked.

Dr Shlomo Noi, from Tal Hashomer hospital, said: "There has been no improvement reported in his condition.


Chilean miner wants mistress to join him in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 9, 2010

The Chilean miners who were rescued from deep underneath the Atacama Desert in October have accepted the Israeli government’s offer to spend an “uplifting and extraordinary” Christmas in Israel.

After the 33 men were saved, the Israeli tourism minister, Stas Misezhnikov, invited them on an all expenses paid trip to see the Christian holy sites.

Rather rashly, he extended the invitation to the miners’ partners. “Los 33” have now happily accepted the offer, but have also asked that nearly 70 members of their extended families can come too.


Praise for prizewinning Israeli medical organisation

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2010

A leading Israeli medical organisation has won a prize for environmental protection from the International Public Relations Association.

Representatives of Maccabi Healthcare Services received their Golden World Award in London on Friday for a campaign to collect medicines beyond their expiry date.

Since the launch of the initiative 18 months ago, around 240,000 packages containing seven million pills have been collected from Maccabi community clinics around Israel.


Israel advocacy expands

November 5, 2010

An international scheme to promote Israel advocacy and education is to extend its activities in the UK.

StandWithUs (SWU), founded in 2001, has 12 offices around the world working to ensure that Israel’s case is heard in discussion of the Middle East.


IDF's first Arab officer: 'It's my duty'

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

A 26-year-old who has become the first Israeli Arab officer in the IDF has called for more members of his community to fight for the country.

Lieutenant Hisham Abu Rayya has faced outrage in his community and accusations that he is a traitor for taking on the role.

But he told The Times that serving in the Israeli army, and even protecting a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, was “my duty to my country”.

Lieutenant Abu Raaya rubbished claims that the reason Arab teenagers opt not to join the Israeli army is down to discrimination.


Israel-Britain strategic talks back on

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

Security and defence talks between the Israeli and British government will now take place in Israel amidst fears that Knesset members could be prosecuted under universal jurisdiction legislation if they visit Britain.

As the JC reported earlier this week, the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor, cancelled a speech at the Bicom dinner in London just hours before the event.


'Bibi will agree to new freeze'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Israel is expecting a renewed push to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians now that the American midterm elections are over. According to sources close to Prime Minister Netanyahu, he will agree to a new form of building freeze in the settlements.

Peace talks with the Palestinians ground to a halt a month and a half ago when the ten-month moratorium on building in the West Bank ended.


Mass rallies against stipends for Orthodox

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Thousands of students took to the streets of Jerusalem this week to protest against a budget law awarding yeshivah students special stipends which university students will not enjoy.

The students called upon the government to end the situation whereby strictly-Orthodox students who do not work are financed by the state.

Last week the government passed a two-year budget which included
111 million shekels for stipends for strictly-Orthodox yeshivah students.