Israel news

Row over West Bank compensation deal

By Yaakov Katz, September 12, 2008

A government initiative to offer West Bank settlers compensation packages to evacuate their homes ahead of a peace deal with the Palestinians has infuriated right-wing groups.

However, the bill's backers claim that as many as 10,000 families would sign up for the programme.
The new legislation is being championed by Vice-Premier Haim Ramon and started as a grassroots effort by Labour Party MK Collette Avital and Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan.

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We send refugees back to hell, say IDF troops

By Ben Lynfield, September 12, 2008

Israeli soldiers have voiced disquiet over new orders to forcibly return African refugees to Egypt - where they face deportation back to Sudan, Eritrea or the other regimes they fled.

In Sudan, refugees who have been in Israel, an enemy state, face possible imprisonment or execution. In Eritrea, they face detention in a military prison and are likely to be tortured.

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Livni set to clean up in Kadima primaries

By Yaakov Katz, September 12, 2008

As the Kadima primaries enter their final lap this week, pressure is mounting on the two candidates with the least chances of winning to drop out of the race and help Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to sweep the vote in its first round.

The latest polls show Ms Livni defeating her main rival, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz, by 20 per cent in Wednesday's primaries, the winner of which could become the next prime minister.

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Send cards to kidnapped Gilad Shalit

September 12, 2008

Jews and non-Jews alike are being urged to send Rosh Hashanah cards to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The 22-year-old was taken by Hamas militants at a border crossing with the Gaza Strip in June 2006. Exact details of his whereabouts are not known.

The cards will be given to Gilad Shalit's father, Noam, when he comes to the UK in two weeks' time. They should be sent to Gilad Shalit, c/o Embassy of Israel, 2 Palace Green, London, W8 4QB by Tuesday September 16. 

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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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