Israel news

Olmert’s peace plan dismissed

By Simon Griver, August 15, 2008

A peace plan offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that would see 93 per cent of the West Bank handed to the Palestinians was this week dismissed by both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli media.


‘Give me my husband or I’ll tie myself to railings’

By Dana Gloger, August 8, 2008

A British woman has threatened to chain herself to the railings of Israel's Supreme Court unless her husband is given a court hearing.

Marianne Azizi's Israeli husband Ilan, whom she married in May, has been unable to leave Israel for the past two years due to an unresolved dispute with his ex-wife over child maintenance payments.


Israel ‘ill-prepared’ for Hamas-Fatah clash

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 8, 2008

The Israeli government is planning to review its policy and procedures regarding intervention in the ongoing bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip.

About 190 Fatah members escaped to Israel over the last weekend following a crackdown by Hamas, with 87 allowed to continue to Jericho after being questioned by the IDF. Fourteen were detained for further questions and 23 remained in hospital in Israel. About 70 returned to Gaza.



Kadima rivals battle for party’s support

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 8, 2008

The front-runners in the Kadima leadership primary began a mad scramble this week to garner as many endorsements as possible from their fellow parliamentarians.

As this is the party's first primary, the make-up of its membership is still unclear, therefore the support of other MKs is seen as crucial.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, currently leading in the polls, has gathered official endorsements from five Knesset members so far - including one minister - to Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz's one.


Now the race to succeed Olmert

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 1, 2008

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz are neck-to-neck in the race to succeed Ehud Olmert as leader of Kadima and Prime Minister of Israel after his dramatic announcement that he would not be running in the Kadima primaries next month.

In a televised address on Wednesday night, Mr Olmert attacked his detractors and insisted once again that he was innocent of the corruption claims being investigated by the police.


Outcry as Defence Ministry authorises 20 new houses in the West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 1, 2008

Settlers in the Jordan Valley are unfazed by the international outcry against the Defence Ministry's decision to authorise the building of 20 houses at a West Bank settlement.

In an unusually harsh statement, Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband has described it as "a real obstacle to peace" and complained directly to Jerusalem. The US State Department and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the planned expansion at Maskiot, in the Jordan Valley.


Ehud Olmert: An ambitious career that collapsed in scandal

By Simon Rocker, August 1, 2008

Dogged by allegations of corruption, Ehud Olmert will bring his undistinguished premiership to an end after less than two-and-a-half years in office.


Chief Rabbi lobbied MKs over divorce bill

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 1, 2008

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar intervened in the political process this week when he tried to scupper a law that would have ensured women get equal parts of a couple's assets in divorce proceedings.

Rabbi Amar personally called up religious Knesset members to try and persuade them not to vote in favour of the new law.


Obama fires up the Israeli public

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 25, 2008

Senator Barack Obama may or may not be elected the 44th President of the United States in November, but this week in Israel he received a welcome to match that of many heads of state.

The Democratic candidate reciprocated in kind by saying almost everything possible to allay Israeli and Jewish fears of his election.


Brown vows security and support for Israel

July 25, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit to Israel this week was a diplomatic success. But from the public-relations angle - at least, from the side of the Israeli media - it proved a damp squib.

An official at Israel's Foreign Ministry said: "Brown was eager to show that he is a close friend of Israel and spoke very forcefully about facing the Iranian threat."