Syria

Hague urges Syrian support for Middle East deal

By Jennifer Lipman, January 28, 2011

William Hague has called on Syria to “support efforts towards a comprehensive peace with Israel”.

Mr Hague, who is in Syria for his first official visit as Foreign Secretary, also said that the British government’s position is to oppose settlement building and support Syria’s claim on the Golan Heights, which have been under Israeli control for 44 years.

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Foreign Office says no to MIA report

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2010

The British government is refusing to release documents which could shed light on the fate of three Israeli soldiers missing since 1982 because it says sensitive information could harm diplomatic relations with Syria.

On June 11 1982, three Israeli soldiers went missing after a battle with Syrian and Palestinian forces near the Lebanese village of Sultan Yaqub in the last moments of the Lebanon war. Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman, all in their 20s at the time, are still officially MIA - missing in action.

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Radical cleric Bakri chooses Hizbollah lawyer

By Jennifer Lipman, November 16, 2010

A radical Islamic preacher who was last week sentenced to life behind bars for terrorism charges has selected a Hizbollah leader as his defence lawyer.

Omar Bakri, who was sentenced in absentia but captured by security officials just days later in Libya, has appointed Hizbollah deputy Nawwar Sahili to represent him in a retrial.

No court date has been set yet, but under Lebanese law a retrial is necessary because the Syrian-born cleric failed to attend court.

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Life in prison for extremist preacher Bakri

By Jessica Elgot, November 12, 2010

The Islamic extremist preacher Omar Bakri – who once called for the death of Sir Paul McCartney for playing in Israel – has been sentenced to life in prison in Lebanon.

The Syrian-born cleric was sentenced in his absence at a military court in Lebanon for allegedly helping train members of Al Qaeda at a camp in Tripoli. He is currently in hiding with relatives in Lebanon.

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Ahmadinejad's Lebanon visit sparks fears in Israel

October 7, 2010

The Israeli government is worried that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon next week could signal the start of an escalation on its northern border.

Mr Ahmadinejad is scheduled to arrive on October 13 for a two-day visit. His itinerary includes a tour of towns and villages in the south of Lebanon where heavy fighting took place between the IDF and Hizbollah during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. According to some reports, the Iranian president may even take part in symbolic stone-throwing towards Israeli soldiers on the border.

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On this day: The eruption of the Yom Kippur War

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

As Israelis marked Yom Kippur, Egypt and Syria launched a joint surprise attack. They struck the places Israel had won in 1967; in the north the Golan Heights, in the south along the Sinai Peninsula.

Although there had been suggestions for several years that Egypt might hit Israel again, the attack was a surprise and Israel was not prepared to fight the fourth war in its history.

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FBI arrest Orthodox 'fraudster'

By Paul Berger, August 19, 2010

An American property developer who allegedly defrauded British Jews out of millions of pounds has been arrested by the FBI.

Eliyahu Weinstein, 35, lost a civil case earlier this month against London property tycoon Berish Berger, who had been swindled out of £23 million.

At least two members of Stamford Hill's Jewish community continue to pursue multi-million pound lawsuits against Weinstein in the US, following property deals that went sour.

Last week, FBI agents arrested Weinstein, who lives in the Orthodox enclave of Lakewood, New Jersey.

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Ban Jewish burka, say Israeli rabbis

By Nathan Jeffay, July 29, 2010

Israeli rabbis are set to ban the burka for a small group of radical Jewish women who have taken to wearing it.

Two years ago, it emerged that around 100 women in the city of Beit Shemesh had begun to cover their faces with a veil and wear numerous layers of clothing to obscure their body shape. When many rabbis criticised the trend, the women took no notice because they considered the rabbis too moderate.

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Hall of Fame: Zalga Lusia

July 14, 2010


"It’s such a romantic place with beautiful beaches, and we both love the Israeli people.


"We were here for the first time a year ago, and although I was nervous then, people were so friendly that it was very obvious for us to come back again.”














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Syria: Gaza flotilla could mean war

By Jessica Elgot, June 17, 2010

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has said the attack on the Gaza flotilla activists could be a catalyst for more war in the Middle East.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Assad said there was no chance of peace with Israel’s “pyromaniac government”.

He said: "When you don't have peace, you have to expect war every day, and this is very dangerous."

Mr Assad said the raid on the flotilla, in which nine Turkish activists died, "destroyed any chance for peace in the near future".

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