Israel seizes ship with tons of weapons near Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, March 15, 2011

A freighter carrying a significant amount of weaponry believed to be for use by terrorists in the Gaza Strip has been intercepted by the Israeli navy.

The Victoria, which set sail from Syria and went via Turkey, was bound for Egypt but intelligence suggested it was carrying weapons from Iran for Hamas to smuggle across the border.


IDF prepares for popular uprising in West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 10, 2011

The Israeli military is worried about the effect the revolutions currently sweeping the Arab world may have on the Palestinian population.

Contingency plans have been adapted to take into consideration the kind of demonstrations recently seen on the streets of Cairo and Tunis, although most officers do not believe there is much chance of seeing similar scenes soon in Ramallah.


Missing IDF man evidence is 'destroyed'

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 3, 2011

The Ministry of Defence has said it may have destroyed a report on the last sighting of three missing Israeli soldiers which could scupper finding their whereabouts.

It is the latest in a series of setbacks in investigations by Manchester lawyers representing the mother of missing soldier Zachary Baumel, who has not been seen since capture in Syria in 1982.


Log on to learn truth about the IDF

By Nathan Jeffay, February 17, 2011

A 26-year-old ex-pat Brit, Josh Mintz, is fielding questions from all over the Arab world - about his service in the Israeli army.

Mr Mintz, originally from London, has, with two American friends, set up a new website, Eight former conscripts, who today serve as reservists, take questions from across the world in a bid to show a human side of the Israel Defence Forces - or in the words of the site's slogan, to "humanise the dehumanised."


Ashkenazi video triggers Stuxnet rumours

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

A video tribute to the outgoing chief of staff of the Israeli army has reignited speculation about whether Israel played a role in a 2009 cyber attack on Iran.

At a party marking Gabi Ashkenazi's departure from his job after four years, the general was treated to a montage of the highlights of his career.

One of the scenes referred to the Stuxnet worm, a virus which it is believed seriously disabled the computer systems at two of Iran’s uranium enrichment sites. However it did not go any further details.


Emergency selection for new IDF chief

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 10, 2011

The crisis that has been engulfing Israel's political and military establishment since it was announced last week that Major General Yoav Galant would not be appointed IDF's 20th chief of staff may have now abated.

Instead of Maj-Gen Galant, who has been accused of illegal land appropriations, Major General Benny Gantz will be appointed chief of staff on Monday.

Maj-Gen Gantz's appointment, two months after he retired from duty, was decided upon following Attorney General Yehud Weinstein's decision not to defend in court the appointment of Major General Yoav Galant.


Israeli army spokesman used alias in London for safety

By Jennifer Lipman, February 9, 2011

A senior official in the Israeli army has revealed that fears about being targeted by anti-Israel activists prompted him to travel to London recently - in disguise.

More than a year after Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a London speech for fear of arrest under Britain’s universal jurisdiction law, Brigadier-General Avi Benayahu found it necessary to visit Britain under an assumed identity and accompanied by security guards.


Israeli soldiers help Palestinian woman with emergency birth

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

An Israeli soldier has described his dramatic rescue of a pregnant Palestinian woman after an ambulance was unable to reach her to deliver her baby.

IDF paramedic Sergeant Gilad Nesher, 20, had to deliver the baby en route to the hospital and then perform emergency resuscitation after the newborn initially struggled to breathe.

The woman phoned for a doctor in the early hours of this morning, but an ambulance could not make it to her home in the Jordan valley – five kilometres from the road - in time.


Benny Gantz named IDF chief after Galant dropped

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu has finally named a new chief of staff for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The Israeli Prime Minister said Benny Gantz would take charge of the IDF, provided the nomination by Defence Minister Ehud Barak is accepted by the cabinet.

Mr Gantz, a paratroop commander, will become the 20th person to serve as Israel’s top military commander.

Mr Netanyahu said: “He is an experienced commander and an excellent officer. He has all the qualities and all the necessary experience to be an excellent IDF chief of staff.”


Scandal brings down Israel's top soldier

By Nathan Jeffay, February 3, 2011

Israelis are notoriously prone to squabbling with their neighbours. But never before has a neighbourly dispute spiralled in to the kind of crisis the country has seen this week, shaking the political and military establishment.

On Tuesday, just two weeks before the Israel Defence Force's new Chief of Staff was due to take up his post, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak announced that they were overturning his appointment.