Israel news

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Brown to Knesset: ‘I am proud of Israel’s success’

July 25, 2008

"For 2,000 years, you had history — but not a home. For 2,000 years, you lifted the artistic and cultural life and the scientific and political development of every continent — but had no home. For 2,000 years, you endured pogroms — and then the horror of the Holocaust — because you had no home.

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‘Talks’ on Royal visit to Israel

July 25, 2008

Talks are under way for a visit to Israel next year by Prince Charles, Israeli diplomatic sources have told the JC. Clarence House denied knowledge of any such discussions. Earlier this year, an aide to the Prince said in a leaked email that there was "no chance ever" of his visiting Israel.

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Israel divided over possible Shalit deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 25, 2008

Efforts to bring about the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit ran into further difficulties this week, when it emerged that the Israeli government is divided on the price to pay.

Fellow members of corporal Shalit’s tank platoon, who were discharged on Tuesday at the end of three years’ service, marched to the office of Defence Minister Ehud Barak to demand that he does more to ensure their comrade, captured two years ago, is freed.

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Case against Olmert ‘very strong’ after key witness gives evidence

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 25, 2008

Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz must now decide whether to indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over the alleged bribes he received from Morris Talansky, after the American fundraiser ended five days in the dock with his version of events intact.

Despite appearing at times shaken and confused during the cross-examination, the main facts of his testimony have not been changed. Mr Olmert allegedly received money through Mr Talansky on at least three separate occasions and he also covered the expenses of Mr Olmert and his wife’s stay in Washington in October 2005.

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