Rice urges Israel, PA to forge agreement

By Yaakov Katz, August 28, 2008

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a lightning trip to Israel this week in a last-ditch effort to secure a written agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before the end of President Bush's term in January.

Ms Rice met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and also paid a short visit to Ramallah for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


Prisoner release may do nothing for Shalit

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 21, 2008

Israeli defence sources have warned that the government decision to release 199 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority - and to apply pressure on Hamas over the negotiations to free Sergeant Gilad Shalit - might backfire.


Israeli and Palestinian trade unions in new deal

By Dana Gloger, August 14, 2008

The revival of an agreement between the Israeli national trade union and its Palestinian counterpart which collapsed more than a decade ago has been welcomed by UK-based Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI).

The deal, between the Histadrut and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), was originally negotiated in 1993, but collapsed shortly after. This week it was reinstated under the auspices of the International Trade Unions' Confederation (ITUC).


Thousands mourn Palestinian poet

By Ben Lynfield, August 14, 2008

Some ten-thousand Palestinians accorded an emotional farewell on Wednesday to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, known as "the poet of the resistance" for his defiant verses against Israeli occupation.

His coffin, draped in a Palestinian flag, was driven from Palestinian presidential headquarters to a hilltop grave next to the Ramallah Cultural Palace, now renamed the Mahmoud Darwish cultural palace.


Academics dismiss view that Irish peace process is model for Mid-East

By Leon Symons, August 7, 2008

Two British academics have dismissed a growing political view that the settlement of Britain's conflict with the IRA could be a model for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Dr John Bew and Dr Martyn Frampton, historians from Peterhouse College, Cambridge, said that "the notion of talking to one's enemies - no matter how intransigent or unreasonable they may seem - has been fetishised by many from across the political spectrum".


Palestinian village is focus of Israeli crackdown

By Ben Lynfield, August 7, 2008

Youssef Amireh should still be alive, his father insists.

The 17-year-old was shot in the head by Israeli border police who fired rubber-coated metal bullets during a protest last week and died of his wounds at a hospital in Ramallah on Monday.

He is the second Palestinian fatality within a week in violence that both sides warn will escalate as protests continue against the building of the separation barrier on land confiscated from this village of about 5,000.


Riots loom after boy is killed in PA

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2008

Israeli forces equipped for riot-control have been stationed near a West Bank village after a 10-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by a border policeman

Ahmed Moussa was shot in the forehead by a live bullet as protestors and troops clashed in Ni'ilin, the focal point of daily demonstrations against the separation barrier. In the Ni'ilin area it takes the form of a four-metre concrete wall, and separates the village from much of its land.


Postcard with anti-Israel message withdrawn

By Leon Symons, July 24, 2008

When is a postcard not a postcard? When it is a political diatribe against Israel — and provides no space for a message.

The postcard in question features an anti-Israeli poem by Michael Rosen, the children’s laureate, on one side, and  four maps on the other side showing areas which it implies were Palestinian and are now part of Israel. There are also quotations attributed to David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon, and a paragraph accusing Israel of carrying out “ethnic cleansing, terrorism and apartheid” with American money and connivance.


Activists’ lenses shoot back at IDF ‘abuses’

By Ben Lynfield, July 24, 2008

The Israeli human-rights group B'tselem says it is gathering more images of soldiers and settlers targeting Palestinians after it shocked the Israeli public this week by releasing a video clip of a soldier apparently firing a rubber-coated metal bullet at a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian.


Obama to visit Israel and PA

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2008

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled to receive a red-carpet reception when he arrives in Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week on a whirlwind visit.

The exact date of Mr Obama’s visit is being kept a secret for security considerations also related to his planned visit to Afghanistan and Iraq.