Israel news

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.


The Kadima elections - who will win?

September 16, 2008

Profiles of the two front runners of the Kadima elections.

Tzipi Livni

Born in Tel Aviv in 1958 to former Irgun leaders, Tzipora Malka Livni served as an IDF lieutenant before working for Mossad from 1980 to1984. An attorney by profession, she received her law degree from Bar Ilan University before practising for 10 years in a private firm.


IDF launches inquiry into draft-dodge organisation

By Yaakov Katz, September 16, 2008

In an effort to combat the growing phenomenon of draft dodging among Israeli youth, the Israeli attorney general has, in a rare move, decided to launch an investigation against a left-wing group that offers teenagers assistance in receiving exemptions from serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.


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.