Israel news

Hamas bans Gaza women from motorcycles

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Hamas has banned women from riding motorbikes in Gaza, raising fresh concerns over the movement’s ultra-conservative agenda.

The interior ministry said the ban was to "to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society's customs and traditions".

The move is the latest step in an "Islamification" campaign by Hamas.

In July, a senior judge announce that female lawyers would be obliged to wear headscarves in court, a move slammed by human rights groups.

Hamas have also attempted to ban the display of women’s underwear in shop windows.

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EU 'failed to protect citizens' from Gaza rockets

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Fifteen European citizens living in Israel are taking legal action against the European Union for failing to protect them from Palestinian rocket fire while they are living in Israel.

The citizens, of Britain, France, Italy and Hungary, who are all currently living in Israel, have filed a claim with the European Commission demanding that the EU intervenes in the funding of terrorism in Gaza, and takes action to protect them from terrorists while they live in Israel.

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Nobel Prize for Israeli woman

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

An Israeli has become the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Ada Yonath, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, won the 2009 prize along with American partners Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz for "studies of the structure of the ribosome."

The ribosome is the mechanism in the body which translates the DNA code into life.

The study will be used for advances in antibiotics.

Professor Yonath, who is a single mother, received an honorary degree from Oxford University last year.

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Christians flock to Jersualem for Succot

By Ben Lynfield, October 6, 2009

Soft rock infused with hymns from a 30-person band and choir, invocations in a multitude of tongues, worshippers up on their feet with arms outstretched toward the heavens and perhaps most important of all, a break to plug El Al Israel airlines.

Pilgrims from more than 80 countries attended the Christian evangelical service in Jerusalem on Sunday. It was one of the highlights of the annual Feast of Tabernacles festivities that coincide with Succot, and are organised by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ).

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Police prepare for more Jerusalem violence

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Police in Jerusalem are preparing for more violence in Jerusalem and will be on high alert during today’s annual Succot Jerusalem march, which 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Access to the Temple Mount will be restricted to Muslim women and to Muslim men over the age of 50.

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Israel vice premier cancels UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon has cancelled a trip to London to speak at a JNF charity dinner over fears he may face arrest for war crimes.

Former IDF chief-of-staff Mr Ya’alon said the trip was “cancelled to avoid playing into the hands of anti-Israel propaganda” after the attempted arrest of Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak when he visited the UK last week.

He is believed to have sought legal advice before accepting the invitation to speak at the JNF event on behalf of Benji's Home, a charity for Israeli soldiers with no family in the country.

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Gilad Shalit: video of captured Israeli soldier

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009
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The video, filmed on September 14, shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

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Gilad Shalit's family will release video

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

Gilad Shalit's family have announced that they will allow the Prime Minister's Office to publish the videotape of their son, who is held captive in Gaza.

The video, filmed on September 14, apparently shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

The video is also over two minutes long, not one minute as was previously reported.

Shalit is clean-shaven and holding a newspaper with the correct date on it, sitting in a whitewashed room.

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Gilad Shalit video: Israeli soldier is 'healthy and coherent'

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

The video of captured soldier Gilad Shalit has been sent to the Shalit family after being seen by Israeli officials.

The video, filmed on September 14, shows Shalit looking healthy and talking coherently in a manner which sounds less scripted than previous audio releases.

The video is also over two minutes long, not one minute as was previously reported.

Shalit is said to be clean-shaven, wearing civilian clothes, holding a newspaper with the correct date on it, and standing in front of a sheet with the symbol of the Hamas military wing on it.

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Shalit video released to Israeli officials

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazy has watched the video of Gilad Shalit, and given the green light to release the remaining Palestinian prisoners.

The video is said to show Shalit looking healthy and sounding coherent.

The video is now on its way to the Shalit family, and will also be watched by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

Israel agreed to release 20 Palestinian woman prisoners in exchange for the video, the first released of Shalit since his capture in 2006.

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