Israel news

Israel seeks to change its image

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2008

A top British re-branding guru, Fiona Gilmore, is currently on a fact-finding visit to Israel. Ms Gilmore's company, Acanchi, has been hired by the Israeli government to lead the campaign to recreate the country's international image.

The contract with Acanchi was announced last month. It is part of the campaign that Foreign MinisterTzipi Livni has been leading for the last three years to create a new international image of Israel, as far away as possible from its current Spartan, grim and war-torn one.


Tel Aviv gears up for Paul McCartney on Thursday night

September 24, 2008

Tel Aviv is gearing up for a landmark concert by Paul McCartney on Thursday night.

Most Tel Aviv music clubs are either planning to close or will not be hosting live acts on Thursday night in preparation for the former Beatle's first gig in Israel, expected to draw some 50,000 fans.

Police have urged people to travel by public transport amid massive security laid on for the singer, accompanied by a 100-strong entourage, including a private chef.

He will be staying in the Presidential suite of the Dan Hotel.


17 injured in Jerusalem car rampage

September 23, 2008

A 19-year-old resident of East Jerusalem injured 17 people late on Monday night when he ploughed his car into a crowd of soldiers in Jerusalem.

Kasem Mugrabi, from the Jebl Mukaber neighbourhood was shot dead by an off-duty IDF officer within seconds. 

The incident took place in Kikar Tzahal, near Jaffa Gate and was the third such attack since another East Jerusalem resident killed three people in a bulldozer rampage in July.

Monday's assailant had no previous security records.


Israelis warned of Sinai terror

By Yaakov Katz, September 19, 2008

Palestinian and Hizbollah terror cells are operating in the Egyptian Sinai desert and are in the advanced stages of planning an attack against Israeli holidaymakers, the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau revealed this week.

The warning was part of a travel advisory in which the bureau urged Israelis not to visit the Sinai and to return immediately to Israel if already there. The Sinai Desert is a popular Israeli holiday site mainly due to its beautiful beaches and low costs.


Legal delay scuppers Syria peace talks

September 19, 2008

A round of indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria scheduled to take place in Turkey this week was cancelled with just one day's notice because the key Israeli negotiator had yet to receive legal approval to participate in the talks.

The cause, government officials said, was the delay in receiving legal approval for Yoram Turbowicz, until last month Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's chief of staff, to continue leading the Israeli delegation.


Olmert decries ‘pogrom’ by armed settlers

By Yaakov Katz, September 19, 2008

A settler rampage through a Palestinian town in the West Bank last weekend has raised fears in the Israeli defence establishment that right-wing activists are preparing a violent resistance to any future attempt by security forces to evacuate settlements.

Last Saturday, several dozen settlers from the far-right settlement of Yitzhar, some armed with automatic rifles, rampaged through the streets of the village of Assira Kubliyeh shooting and stoning homes and cars in response to the Palestinian stabbing of a nine-year-old boy.


Jerusalem may extend PA’s security powers

By Yaakov Katz, September 19, 2008

Israel and the Palestinians are discussing the potential transfer of security control over the West Bank city of Hebron to Fatah security forces in an effort to bolster Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Abbas's presidential term is due to end on January 9. In the absence of new elections, he will be replaced by Abdel Aziz Dweik, a senior Hamas official and speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, currently in an Israeli prison.


Tel Aviv seeks ex-City workers

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 19, 2008

The Israeli embassy in London is stepping up its efforts to recruit workers from the City in the wake of the crisis sweeping the financial sector.

A commission set up by the Israeli government is recommending transforming Tel Aviv into a global financial centre. Last week, the Knesset authorised new tax laws that will exempt new immigrants and returning Israelis from taxation on property and share portfolios which they hold outside Israel.


Tzipi Livni wins the Kadima elections

By Yaakov Katz, September 19, 2008

Foreign Minister hopes to become Israel's second woman Prime Minister

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni inched closer to becoming the second female prime minister in Israeli history on Wednesday night after she defeated her three opponents in the Kadima Party primaries, according to televised exit polls.

The three exit polls gave Ms Livni between 47 and 49 per cent of the vote against Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's 37 per cent. The other two contenders, Meir Sheetrit and Avi Dichter, came in last, both with seven per cent.


Tzipi Livni: A militant's daughter who worked for Mossad

September 18, 2008

Born in Tel Aviv in 1958 to former leaders of the radical militant group Etzel, Tzipora Malka Livni served as an IDF lieutenant before working for Mossad in the early 1980s, when she spent time as the caretaker of a safe house in Paris. She left in 1983 to get married. An attorney by profession, she received her law degree from Bar-Ilan University before practising for 10 years in a private firm, specialising in public and commercial law.