Outcry as Defence Ministry authorises 20 new houses in the West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 1, 2008

Settlers in the Jordan Valley are unfazed by the international outcry against the Defence Ministry's decision to authorise the building of 20 houses at a West Bank settlement.

In an unusually harsh statement, Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband has described it as "a real obstacle to peace" and complained directly to Jerusalem. The US State Department and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the planned expansion at Maskiot, in the Jordan Valley.


Sarah Brown meets JLGB

By Jessica Ware, August 1, 2008

Thirty members of the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade's Israel tour spent an afternoon with Gordon Brown's wife Sarah in Jerusalem last week.

Mrs Brown, who accompanied the Prime Minister on his Israel trip, met the JLGB group on the steps of the King David Hotel. She shared her impressions of Israel and heard about the brigade party's tour experiences during a question-and-answer interchange.


Crackdown call after bulldozer rampage

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 25, 2008

An Arab bulldozer driver has gone on the rampage in Jerusalem in the second incident in three weeks, bringing renewed calls for restrictions on the capital’s Palestinian civilians.


College links put pressure on boycotters

By Leon Symons, July 25, 2008

A groundbreaking scheme that strengthens links between universities and academics in Britain and Israel has been launched simultaneously in London and Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown signed an agreement on Sunday with Premier Ehud Olmert to start the Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership. BIRAX, as it is known, will give grants primarily to junior academics, mainly in scientific research.


Three injured in tractor attack

By Daniella Peled, July 22, 2008

Three people have been injured in central Jerusalem after a tractor driver apparently went on the rampage, two weeks after a similar incident left three people dead.

A border policeman shot the driver dead after he drove into two vehicles on the corner of Keren Hayesdod and King David streets.

The injured, one of whom was said to be in serious condition, were taken to Shaare Tzedek hospital.


Bulldozer killer’s home may not be demolished

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 11, 2008

High-ranking IDF officers have advised Defence Minister Ehud Barak not to order the demolition of home of Husam Dwiat, who killed three Israelis last Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Calls for the demolition of the house of Dwiat’s family in the Sur Bahir neighbourhood of East Jerusalem were heard from politicians following the tractor rampage in which Dwiat killed Bat Sheva Unterman, Elizabeth (Lili) Goren and Jean Relevy and wounded more than 50 others, before being shot by an off-duty soldier.


A day of disbelief

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 3, 2008

Everyone agreed that it was a terrorist attack that could not have been foreseen.

The driver of the number 13 bus attacked by 31-year-old Husam Dwiat told reporters that his first response had been to harangue him for bad driving.

“When he first hit us,” said Assaf Nadav, “I opened the window to shout at him about his driving. I thought it was just a careless accident. Then he turned the bulldozer around and tipped us over with his shovel.”


Palestinian brings terror to Jaffa Road

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 2, 2008

A six-month-old baby was saved by two passers-by on Wednesday moments after her mother was crushed to death as a Palestinian terrorist drove a bulldozer into Jerusalem traffic.

The mother, Bat Sheva Unterman, was one of three people murdered by 31-year-old construction worker Husam Dwiat in a bloody rampage.


Israelis: Palestine welcomes you

By Ben Lynfield, June 13, 2008
PA tourism chief urges visits to Bethlehem to boost the West Bank’s economy

Israeli tourists are welcome in Bethlehem and would be safe if they visit, the Palestinian Tourism Minister promised this week.

“It is true we still live under isolation, we still have the wall and you have to enter though checkpoints, but once you enter you will find people who receive you warmly and you will have a unique experience,” Khouloud Daibes said in her office near Manger Square.


Obama woos Israel lobby

By Nathan Guttman, June 6, 2008

The largest-ever conference of pro-Israel activists convened in Washington DC this week. It took a political flavour as presidential candidates used the event to tout their pro-Israel credentials and tried to court the Jewish community for support in the coming November elections.

The main message sent out by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) focused on the need to take tough measures against Iran. Presidential hopefuls followed suit, promising to increase pressure on Tehran, if and when elected to the White House.