Tycoon property war erupts in Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 13, 2011

Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian millionaires are trying to go beyond politics and decide the future of east Jerusalem using their money and business acumen to wage real-estate battles against each other.

This week the demolition of the Shepherd's Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah, owned by the settlers' patron, American millionaire Irwin Moskowitz, made headlines around the world.

But another tug-of-war has been fought behind the scenes over a planned Jewish neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.


Rabbi says Wall visits break law

By Nathan Jeffay, December 22, 2010

Jewish tourists who visit Israel often describe Shabbat prayers at the Western Wall as one of the most moving experiences of their trip. But according to the most influential rabbi in Israel, take part and you break religious law.


On this day: Allenby captures Jerusalem

By Jennifer Lipman, December 9, 2010

Before the First World War, Jerusalem, as indeed the region, had been under the control of the Ottoman Empire for some four centuries. 1917 saw the fall of the Ottoman regime and, just weeks after the Balfour Declaration in Britain, saw Jerusalem be captured by the British army’s Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshall Sir Edmund Allenby.

British Prime Minister David Lloyd-George had already called on his army to secure Jerusalem by Christmas. Allenby improved on that wish.


Palestinians remove Western Wall 'not Jewish' claim

By Jennifer Lipman, December 2, 2010

A claim that the Western Wall is not of Jewish significance has been taken off a Palestinian Authority report after its inclusion prompted condemnation from the US and Israel.

The controversial statement, which runs counter to archeological evidence, had been made by Palestinian Authority Deputy Information minister Al-Mutawakil Taha. He said "this wall has never been a part of what is called the Jewish Temple.”

But a Palestinian official said the claim did not reflect their position and so it had been removed from the government’s website.


US to Palestinians: Western Wall has Jewish significance

By Jennifer Lipman, December 1, 2010

The Obama administration has rejected the controversial claim by a Palestinian official that there is no Jewish connection to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Last week Palestinian Authority minister Al-Mutawakil Taha said in a report that "this wall has never been a part of what is called the Jewish Temple.

"It was Islamic tolerance which allowed the Jews to stand before it and cry over its loss."


Jerusalem mayor meets rock band Linkin Park

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

American rock band Linkin Park could film their next music video in Jerusalem.

Nir Barkat,mayor of Jerusalem, made the offer to the group when he met them on Monday morning. He also invited them to perform at a venue in Jerusalem.

Linkin Park, whose songs include In the End and What I’ve Done, are in Israel for a concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park this evening.

The band, who have spent time in the Old City and at the Western Wall during their visit, told the mayor that they “definitely” plan to visit Jerusalem again.


UNESCO row: 'Tomb of Rachel is a mosque'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

UNESCO, the world culture and heritage organisation, has classified the ancient Tomb of Rachel, south of Jerusalem, as a mosque as well as a holy Jewish site.

The small building on the outskirts of Bethlehem has been identified for many centuries as the tomb of the Matriarch Rachel who, according to the Torah, died there while giving birth to Benjamin.


King Herod archaeologist dies after tragic fall

By Jennifer Lipman, October 29, 2010

The Israeli archeologist who excavated King Herod’s winter palace has been killed in an on-site accident.

Professor Ehud Netzer died in hospital after a wooden safety railing broke and he fell several yards.

Professor Netzer, who was 76, spent more than three decades searching a part of Mount Herodium in Jerusalem in the hope of finding the tomb of the Roman-appointed King of Judea.

The Hebrew University archeologist finally discovered the tomb in 2007, to international acclaim.


Rabin assassination anniversary to be downgraded

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 21, 2010

The memorial events for the 15th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination began this week under growing controversy over his legacy.

A series of events marked the anniversary of the former prime minister's killing beginning with a ceremony at the President's residence in Jerusalem including a memorial service at his grave on Mount Herzl and a special Knesset session.


Jewish man murdered in Uman during festival

September 28, 2010

A 19-year-old Breslov Chasid was buried in Jerusalem on Sunday after he was stabbed to death in the Ukrainian city of Uman. Two men, also suspected of attacking the man's brother, have been arrested by Ukrainian police.

Shmuel Toubul, who was due to be married, and his elder brother Rafael, were involved in a fight late on Saturday night with local residents.