Israel news

Labour, Shas set to back Livni as PM

By Yaakov Katz, September 26, 2008

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni came a step closer to becoming Israel's prime minister this week as both Labour and Shas expressed readiness to support the newly elected Kadima chair.

Ms Livni, who defeated her opponent Shaul Mofaz by 1.1 per cent in last week's vote, was deemed by President Shimon Peres this week as the Knesset member with the greatest chance of establishing a new government following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation on Sunday.


Peres: Iran’s a world threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 26, 2008

Israel's president, Shimon Peres, warns today that it must not be left to Israel alone to solve the Iranian issue. "The Iranian threat is not only towards Israel, but the whole world," the president says in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with the Jewish Chronicle to mark Rosh Hashanah.


McCartney gives Tel Aviv a treat

September 26, 2008

Last night saw Sir Paul McCartney play his first gig in Israel to around 40,000 cheering fans.

He ignored pleas to boycott Israel and cancel the concert - dubbed Friendship First - in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park.

His show took place 43 years after his former band, The Beatles, were banned from playing in the country for fear they could "corrupt the nation's youth".


After 60 years, Israel’s man in LA flies the flag

By Tom Tugend, September 26, 2008

For the first time since an Israeli mission was established in Los Angeles in 1948, the blue-and-white flag will fly in front of the Jewish state's consulate general.

Israel's colours will be hoisted alongside the Stars and Stripes and the California state flag in a special ceremony on September 28, capping almost a year of bureaucratic negotiations by consul-general Yaakov Dayan.


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.