Israel news

UK-Israel business links up

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

Israel has overtaken Hong Kong as an investor in British industry.

Figures released by UK Trade & Investment place Israel in the top 20 countries investing in British companies.

Richard Salt, the director of UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, said he was delighted Israel had risen in the rankings.

He called on more Israeli companies “to act now to benefit from the huge investment opportunities on offer in the UK.”

Mr Salt added: “I and my team will do our utmost to help those companies to succeed."


Johnny Rotten defies Israel-gig protest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has vowed to perform in Israel despite a campaign by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign for him to boycott the concert.

John Lydon – the punk singer’s real name – said in a radio interview that he has been sent hate mail because his band Public Image Limited is due to play in Tel Aviv in August.

But the controversial star, known for his anti-government stance, said he would not give in even as pro-Palestinian activists said they would picket an upcoming Bristol concert.


Israel sends humanitarian aid to Congo

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

An Israeli medical team has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo to treat burn victims, following a fuel tanker explosion which killed and injured hundreds of people.

The delegation from Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Centre has taken medical equipment to treat those wounded in the disaster

More than 60,000 litres of fuel went up in flames in the city of Sange in the east of the country on July 2.

The doctors, sent there by Israel's National Agency for International Cooperation (MASHAV), are all specialists in plastic surgery and burns.


Lebanon war victims sue Al-Jazeera

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A group of victims of Hizbollah rocket attacks have begun legal action against the Al-Jazeera television network for allegedly aiding the terror group.

The 91 Israelis and North Americans claim that the Qatari media organisation’s coverage of the conflict helped Hizbollah aim missiles more accurately during the 2006 second Lebanon war.

According to those bringing the case, Al-Jazeera’s real-time broadcasts regarding the location of missile strikes enabled Hizbollah to strike civilian centres more effectively .


Exodus doctor dies at 86

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A British-born doctor who cared for passengers on board the Exodus ship as it sailed to pre-state Israel has been buried in Jersualem.

Dr Joshua Cohen, from Glasgow, who looked after the 4,500 Holocaust survivors on the ill-fated journey, died in Israel last week, aged 86.

As a newly qualified doctor, he volunteered on the ship setting up clinics for the passengers and helped those injured during fighting with British troops.

Following the Exodus journey he served in the British Army and the Israeli Medical Corps, and later became deputy director of Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.


Flotilla probe: IDF made intelligence mistakes

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 13, 2010

The team of military experts appointed to investigate the IDF operation against the Gaza flotilla found a series of mistakes in the intelligence-gathering and planning stages of the mission.

However, they praised the actions of the naval commandos who carried out the May raid on the Mavi Marmara, in which nine Turkish activists were killed.


Woman arrested for Western Wall prayer

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

Progressive groups in Israel have spoken out against the arrest of a woman for attempting to read from the Torah at the Western Wall.

Police in Jerusalem brought Anat Hoffman in for questioning after she was found with the scroll at the time of morning prayers, in violation of a Supreme Court ruling requiring women to pray from the Torah at an alternative site.

It follows the arrest of another Israeli woman in 2009 for wearing a tallit and a kippah while carrying a Torah scroll at the Western Wall. Both acts have drawn fire from Israel’s strictly Orthodox groups.


Israel welcomes heroic Mumbai nanny

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

The Indian woman who saved a Jewish child during the Mumbai terror attacks nearly two years ago is set to become an Israeli citizen within a year.

Israel’s interior Minister Eli Yishai has offered Sandra Samuel temporary residential status, the first step towards permanent citizenship. He called it a necessary “humanitarian move” to help Ms Samuel stay in Israel.

Ms Samuel was a nanny for Israeli-born Rabbi Gavriel Holztberg and his wife Rivka when Islamist terrorists attacked the Mumbai Chabad centre in 2008 in a murderous rampage.


Shalit march reaches Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

A march to draw attention to Gilad Shalit’s plight has reached Jerusalem after a 12 day walk across the country by the captured soldier’s family and their supporters.

More than 20,000 people are expected to march to the official residence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before a rally in Independence Park.

The march began at the Shalit family home in Mitzpe Hila, Galilee, and Gilad’s father Noam has vowed to stay camped outside Mr Netanyahu’s home until his son is freed.


Eilat buckles under pressure of illegal African migrants

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

Eilat is struggling to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants from Africa, who now form some 10 per cent of the holiday town's population.

Hundreds of Africans, mainly from Sudan but also from Eritrea, Somalia, Ivory Coast and Ghana, cross over the Israel-Egypt border every month. Most try to reach Tel-Aviv, but many remain down south and gravitate either to the Negev city of Arad, or to Eilat.