Palestine

Holidaying in Israel? Visit Palestine too

February 17, 2011

Eli Gonen, once director-general of Israel's Tourism Ministry under Yitzhak Rabin, has an idea to increase Israeli tourism and support the peace process at the same time.

Cultural and religious tourists could be tempted by advertising combined "Holy Land" packages to "Israel and Palestine", he argues.

While tourist numbers were up to 2.8 million last year, tourism remained static over the previous decade.

But Israelis and Palestinians could enjoy a rise to five million within five years if they co-operated in the marketing of joint packages, he believes.

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After Egypt, Palestinian Authority cabinet reshuffle

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

The Palestinian Prime Minister has six weeks to name a new cabinet after he dissolved the existing one in what experts said was a response to anti-government uprisings in the region.

Salam Fayyad, immediately reappointed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who asked him to form a new cabinet, is expected to attempt to shore up support for Fatah in the new leadership in advance of elections planned for September.

Hamas, the terrorist organisation in control of the Gaza Strip, has already stated it will not participate in the vote.

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Israeli soldiers help Palestinian woman with emergency birth

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

An Israeli soldier has described his dramatic rescue of a pregnant Palestinian woman after an ambulance was unable to reach her to deliver her baby.

IDF paramedic Sergeant Gilad Nesher, 20, had to deliver the baby en route to the hospital and then perform emergency resuscitation after the newborn initially struggled to breathe.

The woman phoned for a doctor in the early hours of this morning, but an ambulance could not make it to her home in the Jordan valley – five kilometres from the road - in time.

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Palestinians arrested for Jerusalem tourist stabbing

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 26, 2011

A group of Palestinian men involved in both terror and criminal activity have been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two women in the Jerusalem Hills last month. Two of the men were indicted for the murder of American tourist Kristine Luken and the serious wounding of her friend, British immigrant Kaye Wilson.

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Irish upgrade Palestinian diplomatic status

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

The Irish government has upgraded the status of Dublin’s Palestinian diplomatic mission to that of an embassy, prompting concern that its European neighbours will follow suit.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the move and expressed regret over it, but said it had not come as a surprise.

Although the decision does not automatically mean Ireland officially recognises an independent Palestinian state, it does represent a break with the rest of the European Union.

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On this day: the Palestinian elections

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

The first Palestinian Legislative Council elections in a decade, the Palestinian elections of 2006 marked a turning point in Middle East politics as Hamas came out triumphant at the polls.

Ruling party Fatah took just 43 of the 132 Palestinian Authority parliamentary seats, while a group viewed around the world as a terrorist organisation took 76.

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Al-Jazeera Palestine papers dismissed as 'fabrication'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 24, 2011

The Palestinian Authority has roundly dismissed claims that two years ago it offered Israel significant concessions on control of Jerusalem and other key issues in the Middle East peace process.

According to documents published by Al-Jazeera, which are claimed to be leaked reports on the 2008 peace negotiations, the Palestinians said Israel could keep almost all of east Jerusalem in return for an area beside the West Bank.

The holy sites in Jerusalem would initially have been placed under international control.

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JLC forced to scrap first West Bank visit

By Marcus Dysch, January 20, 2011

The Jewish Leadership Council has postponed a trip to meet Palestinian leaders in the West Bank following an angry reaction from community representatives.

Chairman Vivian Wineman had been due to travel to Ramallah next month with other council members including Sir Trevor Chinn and Rosalind Preston. They would have met Palestinian Authority officials and members of non-governmental organisations such as Oxfam and War on Want.

The JLC had also proposed that a representative of the Office of the Chief Rabbi join the touring group.

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The Middle East - a musical musing

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011
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Singer Ben Sheehan gives the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a lyrical twist

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Britain 'concerned' over Bilin activist case

By Jennifer Lipman, January 14, 2011

Britain has criticised Israel for extending the sentence of a Palestinian man in prison for his role in weekly and often violent anti-Israel protests.

Abdallah Abu Rahma, a leading figure in the regular demonstrations in the West Bank village of Bilin, was handed the 12 month sentence in October 2010 for incitement and for organising and participating in the unauthorised protests.

He had been arrested eight months earlier, so has now served the conditions of his initial sentence.

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