Israel news

Hizbollah and the IDF exchange threats

By Yaakov Katz, October 10, 2008

Israel and Hizbollah exchanged threats this week as the head of the IDF's Northern Command said that the military would use "disproportionate force" in any new round of violence with the Lebanese group.

In 2006, Israel fought a month-long inconclusive war against Hizbollah following the capture of two IDF reservists whose bodies were returned to Israel two months ago. Since the war, Israel claims that the Iran-backed group has amassed close to 40,000 missiles and rockets. Most of the weaponry is believed to be smuggled into Lebanon from Syria.


Gaydamak launches mayoral bid

October 10, 2008

Russian-born billionaire Arkady Gaydamak officially entered the race to become Jerusalem mayor on Monday.

On the same day in Paris, Mr Gaydamak went on trial in absentia as one of 42 people charged with illegal arms trafficking to Angola between 1993 and 2000. Mr Gaydamak's lawyers insist that their client is innocent.


Livni: ‘Time running out’ for peace process

By Yaakov Katz, October 10, 2008

Prime Minister-designate and Kadima Party chairwoman Tzipi Livni has given the public a taste of her diplomatic vision for Israel while warning that time is running out to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

In her first foreign-policy address since winning the Kadima primary last month, Ms Livni took Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to task for a Rosh Hashanah interview in which he called on Israel to cede nearly all of the territories won in the 1967 Six-Day War.


Eden’s fears about Israel in Suez war

By Bernard Josephs, October 10, 2008

A confidential report of cabinet meetings, during which ministers approved an attack on Egypt after its nationalisation of the Suez Canal, has been released by the National Archives.

The minutes, handwritten by Cabinet Secretary Sir Norman Brook, show how ministers scrambled to arrange a cover-up following claims of military collusion with Israel and France.


Olmert fails to get Russian guarantees on arms sales to Iran

By Yaakov Katz, October 8, 2008

Nearing the end of his term in office, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a lightning trip to Moscow this week in an effort to persuade the Kremlin not to sell advanced missile systems to Iran and Syria.

At the core of the talks was an Iranian request to purchase the advanced and long-range S-300 anti-aircraft missile system that would severely curtail the Israeli Air Force's freedom in the skies if a military strike was launched against the Iran's nuclear installations.


Top Israeli officals deny they endorsed Obama

By Yaakov Katz and Nathan Guttman, October 7, 2008

Two former leading Israeli security officials say they were duped into taking part in a video ad supporting United States Senator Barack Obama's campaign for president that has been widely circulated on the internet.

Uzi Dayan, a former deputy chief of staff of the IDF and former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy were among eight Israeli ex-security officials interviewed for the short film released by the Jewish Council for Education and Research.


New radar gives Israel ‘extra time’ to prepare for missile attacks

By Yaakov Katz, October 3, 2008
An American radar system capable of detecting Iranian missiles from thousands of kilometres away and providing the IDF with critical minutes to prepare for an attack arrived in Israel last week.
The radar system was brought to Israel on 12 transport planes, together with a crew of 120 soldiers who will assemble and activate it in the Negev.


Fears over further right-wing terror

By Yaakov Katz, October 3, 2008

A week after Israel Prize laureate Professor Zeev Sternhell was the target of a bomb attack, fears are mounting that a new far-right Jewish underground cell has begun operations in the West Bank and is planning more attacks against left-wing personalities.

The group is suspected of carrying out a series of recent bomb attacks, including against a Messianic Jewish family in the settlement of Ariel in which a young boy was seriously wounded.


Shin Bet: new ‘radical’ security steps needed

By Yaakov Katz, October 3, 2008

Facing a growing number of attacks in East Jerusalem, the Shin Bet security agency is recommending radical legislative changes which would allow the state to impose sanctions on the families of attackers.

In addition, security officials have claimed that the current route of the Jerusalem section of the security barrier is one of the causes of the terror escalation among residents of East Jerusalem, since it cuts them off from the capital and reinforces their connection with Palestinians in the West Bank.


Israel urges branding guru to shed its ‘war-torn’ image

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2008

One of Britain's top image-makers is to lead a campaign to recreate Israel's international profile.

Fiona Gilmore, head of the Acanchi group, was in Israel last week meeting all levels of society, from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to environmental activists in the Negev.

Ms Livni had appointed Acanchi as part of a campaign she has led for three years to re-brand the country and lose its image as a spartan and war-torn.