IDF

Crisis after Israel 'humiliates' Turkey

By Anshel Pfeffer and Sami Kohen, January 14, 2010

Relations between Israel and Turkey hit an all-time low this week after Israel’s deputy foreign minister publicly humiliated the Turkish ambassador in Jerusalem.

Turkey threatened to order its ambassador home and the matter was only resolved after Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon personally apologised, twice.

The row broke out on Monday when Mr Ayalon called in Turkish Ambassador Oguz Celikkol to rebuke him over the second drama series to be broadcast on Turkish television recently showing Israeli agents murdering civilians.

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Analysis: As Hamas loses control, the risk for Israel grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 14, 2010

AT Around 11pm on Monday, a large explosion was heard near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Reports began to stream in from civilians on both sides of Israeli Air Force strikes, dead Hamas fighters, IDF units concentrated near the border and forces on the move. For a few minutes, it seemed as if a year after Operation Cast Lead, another Israeli invasion of Gaza was under way.

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Israeli and Jewish aid to Haiti earthquake

By Jessica Elgot, January 14, 2010

Israeli and Jewish aid organisations have flown to Port-au-Prince to deal with the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake which may have killed up to 100,000 people.

El Al has sent two planes, one cargo and another for passengers, and an IDF delegation is due to arrive in the Carribean country today with experts in engineering, medicine and rescue tactics.

IsraAID have also dispatched a 12-man search-and-rescue team to Haiti.

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Baroness Scotland: UK working on arrest law

By Jessica Elgot, January 5, 2010

The Attorney-General, Baroness Scotland, who is currently visiting Israel, has refused to comment on individual arrest warrants issued against Israeli leaders in Britain.

IDF officers have been forced to cancel a trip to Britain after the British government failed to guarantee that arrest warrants would not be issued against them, it emerged today.

This followed an attempt to arrest Tzipi Livni, leader of Israel’s Kadima party, who cancelled a trip to the UK after a warrant was issued.

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IDF cancel UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, January 5, 2010

IDF officers have been forced to cancel a trip to Britain after the British government failed to guarantee that arrest warrants would not be issued against them.

Israel's Defence Ministry halted the IDF visit to the UK, where four IDF chiefs were invited to speak to the British army, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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Israelis back 'right' to disobey the IDF

By Nathan Jeffay, December 30, 2009

Some 29 per cent of Israeli Jews believe that right-wing soldiers have a “right” to refuse orders if asked to evacuate a settlement, according to a new Tel Aviv University poll.

Last month, the government decided to expel the Har Bracha yeshivah from the army’s hesder programme, which combines army service and Torah study, after its head encouraged students to disobey orders in such cases.

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Ben Sahar returns to Israel to do army duty

December 30, 2009

Israeli international Ben Sahar has returned to Israel to begin his IDF service.

The 20-year-old striker, who plays for La Liga club Espanyol, began his army career as a youth motivational speaker this week.

He will be allowed to complete his service during his holidays in Israel, over a number of years, thanks to a change in army rules that allows “gifted athletes” based abroad to do their service over a longer period of time.

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Yeshivah backs off in fight with army

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2009

The heads of the Hesder yeshivahs, which allow 18-year-olds to combine Torah studies and army service, have issued a joint statement against any form of political protest within the IDF.

The rabbis are trying to end the crisis with the defence establishment which led to one of the yeshivahs being cut out of the arrangement last week. Defence Minister Ehud Barak cancelled the Hesder status of the Har Bracha yeshivah on the West bank following the refusal of its head, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, to retract his previous statements in support of soldiers refusing orders to dismantle settlements.

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Israel severs link between religious school and IDF

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 17, 2009

Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s decision to end the Har Bracha yeshivah’s hesder arrangement — which allows 18-year-olds to combine Torah studies with army service — has sent reverberations through the IDF and the network of yeshivahs which have, for decades, enjoyed close relations with the military.

“This isn’t about just one yeshivah,” said a senior rabbi this week. “This is a battle for the soul of the next generation of the national-religious community.”

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Crackdown on 'Orthodox' women who shirk IDF

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 3, 2009

A law enabling the IDF to crack down on women who defer army service fraudulently “for religious reasons” has become a political hot potato and may cause a coalition crisis.

Coalition partners Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) have said they will be voting against a government-approved law that will enable the IDF to send investigators to check whether young women who do not join the army claiming they were religious are indeed leading a religious life.

If they are not, the IDF will be able to draft them immediately.

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