Jerusalem

Britain 'will back EU draft to divide Jerusalem'

By Jessica Elgot, December 7, 2009

Foreign ministers of the European Union will meet in Brussels today to discuss a Swedish proposal to name east Jerusalem as a future Palestinian capital.

Britain is expected to back the proposal, along with Ireland, Belgium, and Malta, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Italy, France, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Slovenia have all come out against the strong wording used in the draft.

The proposal for the Council for Foreign Affairs recommends dividing Jerusalem, so that east Jerusalem can be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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Arab scholar 'blasted' over Temple Mount

By Ben Lynfield, December 3, 2009

Prominent Palestinian academic Sari Nusseibeh has reportedly been blasted for writing about the Jewish connection to Temple Mount.

Mr Nusseibeh was one of a number of Palestinian and Israeli scholars to contribute to an unprecedented joint new study about the site, Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade, initiated by the Hebrew University and the Yad Ben-Tzvi Institute.

In his chapter, Mr Nusseibeh, president of al-Quds University in east Jerusalem, does not affirm that there were Jewish temples on Temple Mount.

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Prayer call by women of the wall

By Leon Symons, December 3, 2009

Israel’s Women of the Wall organisation has said it will launch a major demonstration to try to break a 20-year-old law banning women from praying directly in front of the Western Wall.

The organisation’s chair, Anat Hoffman, told an audience of New Israel Fund supporters in London this week: “We will be there again at the Wall on December 18, believing that the Wall is the holiest place for Jews, believing it should be open to all.”

Last week a woman was arrested and then released after a group of 40 women, wearing tallitot and kippot read from the Torah.

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France unlikely to back EU plan to split Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, December 3, 2009

France is unlikely to back Sweden in its drive to push east Jerusalem as the future Palestinian capital.

French ambassador Christophe Bigot told the Jerusalem Post that the proposal was unlikely to be approved by the 27 EU member states in its present form.

EU foreign ministers, including British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will meet on December 7 in Brussels to discuss the proposal.

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Israel fights EU proposal to divide Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer and Martin Bright, December 3, 2009

Israel is urging EU members to defer the vote on a Swedish proposal to recognise east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, due to be tabled at next week’s meeting of foreign ministers.

The UK government, meanwhile, has distanced itself from the Swedish plan, with senior sources saying that Jerusalem is not the place to start negotiations for a peace settlement because the division of the city is “too provocative”.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry says Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency, and its foreign minister, Carl Bildt, is the main force behind the measure.

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EU to propose dividing Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, December 1, 2009

Israel has slammed a move by the European Union to officially divide Jerusalem as a capital for both Israelis and Palestinians.

A proposed resolution for the EU Council has been drafted by Sweden, the current holders of the EU presidency, Ha’aretz reported. The draft says that the EU should recognise Palestinian statehood with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It states: “The goal is an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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Brothers of 'starved' Israeli boy are sent to live in UK

By Marcus Dysch and Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2009

Three brothers of a boy allegedly starved by his mother in Jerusalem have moved to England, and are now living with their grandparents in London’s strictly Orthodox community.

The boys, aged nine, seven and five, arrived in Stamford Hill last Thursday, the same day their mother gave birth to her sixth child, also a boy.

It is believed they were accompanied on the jouraney by a rabbi from the strictly-Orthodox Edah Charedit faction and that they were sent on the express orders of Rabbi David Kahan, the spiritual leader of the Toldot Aharon Chasidic group to which the family belongs.

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Woman arrested for wearing tallit at Western Wall

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2009

A woman has been arrested by Israeli police for wearing a tallit at the Western Wall.

Nofrat Frenkel, who was wearing a tallit, a kippah and carrying a Torah scroll, was arrested during the Women of the Wall’s Rosh Chodesh prayers.

Police who arrested Ms Frenkel say she was violating Israeli law that a certain dress code should be worn at the Kotel.

Forty women were attending the prayers in the Western Wall square when Ms Frenkel was allegedly seen reading from the scroll by members of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, who called police.

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Palestinian cave man fights 'eviction'

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

A Palestinian man who lives in a cave near Jerusalem has been threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.

Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, 48, claims he was brought up in the cave as a child. Now he has moved back to the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to stake his claim to his five acres in Al Walajah.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s family, including his ten children currently live in a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

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Labour: Jerusalem is not the Jewish capital

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2009

Ehud Barak’s Labour Party has vetoed a bill in the Knesset describing Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.

The party says that while Jerusalem should be asserted as the capital of Israel, a move to make it a religious capital would be misinterpreted by the rest of the world as a potential act of aggression.
The government cannot support a bill if a party in the Knesset uses its power of veto.

The bill was proposed by Habayit Hayehudi (Our Jewish Home) MK Zevulun Orlev, in order to state clearly that a “United Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people.”

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