Israel news

Analysis: Shoot-out in Lebanon is an ominous sign

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 5, 2010

The short but very sharp battle on the Lebanese border on Tuesday which took the lives of an Israeli battalion commander, three Lebanese soldiers and one reporter, may turn out to be an isolated incident. By evening, calm had returned to Israel's north, but it is a worrying indication of the state of affairs in the land ofthe cedars.

The direct fire at the Israeli command post, during a routine maintenance operation across the border fence but well within Israeli territory, was at the orders of a low-level officer, but it is still unclear whether he was acting on his own initiative.


Tel Aviv a top beach city

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

Tel Aviv has been named one of the ten best beach cities in the world.

A National Geographic survey placed the Mediterranean coastal city on the list alongside Honolulu and Rio de Janeiro.

The magazine described the city, home to everything from a buzzing port, busy markets and sandy beaches, as “Miami Beach on the Med”

Although Tel Aviv was beaten to the top seaside spot by Barcelona, Israel was the only Middle Eastern country to make the list.


UNIFIL: Israel did not cross Lebanon border

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

United Nations peacekeepers have contradicted Lebanese claims that Israeli forces were operating within Lebanese territory before a border flare-up which led to the deaths of four people.

The fighting has raised international concerns that Israel’s relationship with Lebanon could deteriorate, less than four years after a ceasefire was negotiated to end the Second Lebanon War with Hizbollah.


IDF: Lebanon fired first

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

Israel has said Lebanese forces fired the first shots in a clash on the border and warned of “consequences” if the incident is repeated.

Lebanese officials claimed they had only fired “warning shots” because Israelis had been trying to cut down a tree in Lebanon. But Israel said its soldiers “were on routine activity in Israeli territory”.


Jail delay for Arab 'rapist' who posed as Jew

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

An Israeli court has postponed the sentence of an Arab man convicted of rape by deception after he had consensual sex with a Jerusalem woman while posing as a Jew.

The high court also called for Sabbar Kashur’s remand conditions to be eased. The 30-year-old married father has been under house arrest for two years.

Last month Mr Kashur was sentenced to 18 months in jail for presenting himself as a Jewish bachelor to a woman he met and then had sex with soon after in a nearby building.

The woman said she would not have consented if she had known he was not Jewish.


Flare up on Israel-Lebanon border

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

Israeli troops have reportedly been shot at near the border with Lebanon.

According to security officials Galilee residents have been ordered into bomb shelters after explosions believed to be caused by a mortar shell fired into the area.

Initial reports suggest there has been an exchange of fire between Israeli and Lebanese forces.

Two Lebanese soldiers are believed to have been killed.

The flare up on the border comes four years after the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hizbollah.


Dawson's Creek star has Tel Aviv wedding

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

Actor James Van Der Beek has married his pregnant fiancée at a Kabbalah ceremony in Israel.

The star, who shot to fame as a Steven Spielberg-worshipping teenager on the 1990s series Dawson’s Creek, was married by "Rabbi" Yehuda Berg in Tel Aviv.

Mr Berg also officiated over the nuptials of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher in 2005.

The bride, model Kimberly Brook, wore a black dress while Mr Van Der Beek, 33, chose a white Armani tuxedo. The pair, who met in Israel last year, are expecting their first child in the autumn.


UK ambassador to Israel on 'hostile' Britain

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2010

The outgoing UK ambassador to Israel has said that it is undeniable that “there is antisemitism in the UK” but it is not “a simple story of hostile Britain drifting away from Israel.”

Sir Tom Phillips admitted that the “climate can be difficult” for supporters of Israel in Britain and that the Jewish state is no longer viewed as “David” but as “Goliath”.

The ambassador, who is to leave his post in Israel after four years, told the Jerusalem Post that the historically dominant image in the UK was of “plucky little Israel against a sea of non-democratic states.


Rockets fired at Eilat and Aqaba

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2010

Several rockets have been fired at Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat, although no injuries have been reported.

Officials said they believe the five rockets were fired from within Egypt.

The short-range rockets also hit the Jordanian city of Aqaba, minutes from Eilat on the other side of the Red Sea, exploding outside a hotel and killing one man and injuring three others.

Two other rockets are thought to have landed in the sea.

Jordan's Information Minister Ali Ayed said: "Preliminary investigation showed that the rocket was fired from outside Jordanian territory.”


Israeli scientists help paralysed talk

By Leon Symons, July 29, 2010

VScientists at Israel's Weizmann Institute have invented a unique device operated by sniffing that could allow people who are completely paralysed to communicate with their family and control wheelchairs.

The new system identifies changes in air pressure inside the nostrils and translates these into electrical signals. The device was tested on healthy volunteers as well as quadriplegics, and the results showed that the method is easily mastered.