Israel news

Red faces over squabbling Israel lobbies

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 12, 2008

Competition between two pro-Israel advocacy groups over their lobbying of the British media has been described as a "war of the Jews" by a senior Israeli government official.

Bicom - the British Israel Communications and Research Centre - is said to be angry that the Israeli government is working closely with the US-based Israeli Project over public relations initiatives aimed at British media.

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Police find suitcase believed to hold missing girl

September 12, 2008

Police divers have found a red suitcase in the Yarkon River thought to contain the remains of missing four-year-old girl Rose Pizem, believed to have been murdered by her grandfather.

After intensive searches for the child, who has been missing since May, divers located a red case which matched the description of the one that the girl's grandfather, Ronnie Ron, told police he had put her body after killing her.

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Peres plans UK visit to discuss the Iran threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 11, 2008

Israeli president Shimon Peres is to visit Britain in November to discuss the Iranian nuclear threat with British leaders.

The visit - which has as yet not been formally announced - will not be an official state visit, though he is expected to meet the Queen.

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Call for Olmert indictment

By Yaakov Katz, September 10, 2008

The Israeli Attorney General will decide in the coming weeks whether to accept a police recommendation and indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for allegedly receiving tens of thousands of dollars from a US businessman and double-billing Jewish organisations for trips overseas.

The police recommendation was submitted to Attorney General Menahem Mazuz on Sunday night and came after months of investigations and speculation that included the interrogation of Mr Olmert, his wife and son.

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Warning that Israel risks 'secular flight'

By Jenni Frazer, September 8, 2008

An Israeli academic and former politician predicted this week that the twin demographic rises of the Muslim and Haredi communities in Israel "could lead to a secular flight from the country".

Professor Amnon Rubinstein, a former minister of education and of communications, and a professor of constitutional law, described himself as "full of anxieties" about the future of the Jewish state.

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Police make peace with modesty patrols

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

the Jerusalem police and the leaders of the Eda Haredit, the extremist camp in the ultra-Orthodox community, have reached an unofficial agreement to end the latest cycle of unrest on the streets of the Mea Shearim neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

The sporadic outbreaks of violence, arson and clashes with police, followed the arrest of a member of the so-called "modesty patrol", Shmuel Weispish. As part of the agreement, Mr Weispish was released and the rabbis promised that the violence would cease.

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Shock over new child murders

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 4, 2008

Israel has been gripped by the tragic details emerging from the investigation into the fate of three four-year-old children, allegedly murdered by their parents.

In the latest case, police arrived at a south Tel Aviv flat on Tuesday night after 31-year-old Regina Kruchkov called the police and said: "I killed my son." They found the lifeless body of Mikhail drowned in a tub of water.

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Court for alleged sex traffickers

September 4, 2008

Charges are due to be filed next week in Tel Aviv in the case of an Israeli mother and daughter who are accused of trafficking women for prostitution between Israel and London. Therese Orland, 55, and Katrin Atyia, 28, who were arrested two weeks ago, were sent to court yesterday (Thursday) for further detention on remand.

Tel Aviv's District Advocacy spokesperson confirmed that "the file is being examined by the Tel Aviv District Prosecution and the decision on charges will be made in the next few days".

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Blair’s sister-in-law ‘trapped in Gaza’

By Dana Gloger, September 4, 2008

FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth this week claimed she was trapped in Gaza.

The human-rights activist, journalist and sister of Cherie Booth was on one of two "peace" boats organised by the Free Gaza Movement. She claims that Israeli and Egyptian authorities denied her entry, leaving her stranded in Gaza.

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Jailed ex-Shas leader tipped to run for Jerusalem mayor

By Simon Griver, September 4, 2008

Reports that former Shas leader Arieh Deri wants to run for the Jerusalem mayoralty has created a stir in the race, even though he may not be allowed to because of his corruption conviction.

Mr Deri, one of the most popular yet controversial figures in Israeli politics, has been out of public life since his release from prison in 2002.

He has remained an influential power behind the scenes, unofficially advising ministers and acting as a power-broker, while remaining a constant threat to the current Shas leader Eli Yishai.

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