Israel

Israel to join West at UN Human Rights Commission

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Israel’s isolation at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) is about to come to an end as it joins the Western group of nations (WEOG) at the commission.

Israel has officially been invited to join the group as part of the deal in which it agreed to end its unofficial boycott of the UNHRC last month.

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Peres: I’m 90, so maybe time to retire — in politics

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Shimon Peres, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year, has ruled out remaining the president of Israel after his seven-year term ends next year.

Last week, during a state visit to Mexico, he told reporters: “I will end my role as president in July 2014 and am against any attempt to extend my term or change the legislation.”

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Not a cause, not a problem - Israel is a country

By David Aaronovitch, December 5, 2013

The weekend before last, I was in Jerusalem again, for the third time in my life.

The third time in my life in Israel and every time, no matter how brief the visit, I come away feeling something different.

My earliest visit was in 1977. I was on a student “fact-finding” delegation to Israel, Lebanon and the West Bank.

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Analysis: Israel agonises over Bedouin land crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 5, 2013

Ironically perhaps, as the world waits for the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev to clear its final legislative hurdles in the Knesset and the bulldozers to start demolishing the homes of over 30,000 Bedouin slated for resettlement, the only person who has actually lost out so far is Benny Begin.

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French forensics experts say Arafat was not poisoned

By Rosa Doherty, December 3, 2013

French scientists have ruled out the possibility Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned.

News agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) tweeted the update on Tuesday afternoon, reporting that, in the opinion of the forensics experts, he died due to a “generalised infection”.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP that the French results were "not a surprise".

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Battle over Knesset bill to create one chief rabbi of Israel

By Daniel Easterman, December 3, 2013

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, David Lau, has angrily rejected a proposed Knesset bill that would combine the separate Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbi positions into a single role.

Rabbi Lau argued that Israel should not break from tradition and that it was still necessary to maintain “two rabbis of an equal standing, like in the times of the Tannaim Abtalion and Shmaya”.

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Bedouin resettlement plan sparks worldwide protests

By Rosa Doherty, December 2, 2013

Thousands of people around the world have taken part in protests against Israeli government plans to force Bedouin Arabs to move from their scattered villages in the Negev desert to a number of designated towns and settlements.

The Prawer plan, expected to be passed into Israeli law by the end of the year, will authorise the demolition of 35 "unrecognised" Bedouin villages.

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Two-year-old child injured in stone-throwing incident

By Charlotte Oliver, November 29, 2013

Israeli police arrested four men last night in connection with a stone-throwing attack in Jerusalem that left a toddler injured .

The suspects, Arab youths aged between 15 and 20, are believed to have hurled stones at a car on Thursday evening in the Armon Hanatziv area of Jerusalem.

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Israel and EU reach deal on £400m research scheme

By Nathan Jeffay, November 28, 2013

Tensions between Israel and the EU cooled down from boiling point on Tuesday, when the two parties reached a compromise on a bitter disagreement over settlements.

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Herzog won Labour by talking diplomacy

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 28, 2013

Hilik Bar, secretary-general of the Israeli Labour Party, is sitting puffy-eyed in his Knesset office. As the party’s organisational head, last week’s primaries were his responsibility and he is still catching up on lost sleep.

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