Israel news

'For the POWs who return, captivity is never ending'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

Israel is experienced in treating its prisoners of war when they return home, but may still find it hard to help Gilad Shalit adjust to freedom.

“We don’t have experience of quite these conditions that Gilad Shalit is going through,” explains Dr David Senesh, a clinical psychologist who was a POW for 40 days in Egypt following the Yom Kippur War in 1973.


Gilad Shalit hopes 'exaggerated'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

Israeli leaders are playing down reports of a breakthrough in the talks over captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Meanwhile, the few details coming out from the talks in Cairo indicate that a breakthrough could be close.


Peacenik's fear over Israel

By Simon Rocker, September 3, 2009

One of Israel’s leading peace activists has denied that he and others in the peace movement, who have criticised Israel openly, had contributed to the atmosphere in which it was being demonised as an apartheid state.


On stage: Madonna and child

September 3, 2009

Madonna’s son Rocco, who she had with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie, joined her on stage during her final concert in Tel Aviv last night.

He took the stage at the Hayarkon Park venue for the last night of her Sticky & Sweet tour. The nine-year-old danced and sang along with his mother on three tracks.

On Tuesday night Madonna brought out her daughter Lourdes, 12, who danced and played the piano on stage.


Madonna Israel concert delights fans

September 2, 2009

Madonna made her return to the stage in Israel last night after a 16-year absence and told a crowd of 50,000: “Israel is the energy centre of the world.”

The concert, at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, was the first of two to mark the end of her Sticky & Sweet tour. The second is this evening at the same venue.

She took the stage half an hour late and delighted fans when she grabbed an Israeli flag from the crowd and draped herself in it for her final song.


Law student held over assassination plot

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2009

Rawi Sultani, 23, passed on information about Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazy's movements. His arrest is probably the nipping in the bud of Hizbullah's plan to assassinate Israel's most senior soldier. It also serves as a reminder of the Lebanese organisation's true motives.

Last week, the IDF released surveillance footage of Lebanese citizens repelling Hizbollah members from their village near the border with Israel. Their intention had been to rebuild fortified positions and replenish arm caches that had been used to shell the Galilee during the Second Lebanese War.


Aviva Shalit: forgive us, my son

August 28, 2009

A senior Hamas official looks set to fly to Cairo shortly to approve a deal that includes the release of Gilad Shalit.

And the mother of the IDF soldier captured in June 2006, made a heartfelt plea for action with an apology to her son for “not being able to protect you”.

The trip by Hamas Politburo chief Khaled Meshal will follow efforts by German intelligence who have sent an official to Cairo to help mediate.


Likud right wing frightens Bibi

By Anshel Pfeffer in Jerusalem, August 27, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to discreetly demote his deputy, Moshe Yaalon, for two recent “right-wing” appearances.

Mr Yaalon, a former IDF Chief of Staff, was fired by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in early 2005 for opposing the disengagement from Gaza. He joined the Likud late last year and was seen as one of the main figures in the effort to rehabilitate the party’s image in the eyes of Israeli voters. He was appointed minister for strategic affairs and deputy premier.


Israel’s economy recovering

By Simon Griver in Jerusalem, August 27, 2009

The Bank of Israel has raised interest rates from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent, becoming the first central bank in the developed world to push up interest rates since the credit crunch began.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said he does not expect others to follow his lead.

“Interest rates in the world’s leading economies will remain unchanged until the end of 2009 and maybe mid-2010. In contrast to Israel, those countries have low inflation.”


Twitter campaign for Gilad Shalit

By Jessica Elgot, August 24, 2009

A Twitter campaign "Tweet4Shalit" has been launched to mark the 23rd birthday of kidnapped Israeli solider Gilad Shalit.

Organisers, including the Jewish Internet Defence Force, hope that by encouraging enough people to use the #GiladShalit hashtag at the end of every tweet they send on August 26, then Gilad Shalit will become a trending topic on the site.