World news

Hamas claim Abbas doesn't want unity deal

By Jennifer Lipman, November 30, 2011

The prospect of a unity deal between Hamas and Fatah have been further undermined after a high-level Hamas official accused President Mahmoud Abbas of being disinterested in striking one.

Mahmoud Zahar, a leading spokesman for Hamas, said the Palestinian leader was "not interested in achieving" a deal.


Hope and fear as Egypt holds elections

By Anshel Pfeffer in Cairo, November 29, 2011

Enthusiasm and optimism was high on Monday as voters flocked to what one voter in al-Maadi neighborhood describe as "my first chance to really determine my future myself, in the past the voting stations were empty on elections day, as we knew that whatever we voted, the results would be the same."


Brooklyn women fight to join Orthodox ambulance service

By Jennifer Lipman, November 28, 2011

A group of Orthodox women in the Borough Park area of New York have sparked a debate in the community after they asked to be allowed to join a men-only Jewish volunteer ambulance service.

The women said they wanted to be involved in Hatzalah's operations, in order to help women going into labour or facing other emergencies.


Iran threaten to send 150,000 missiles to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, November 28, 2011

The Iranian defence minister has suggested that his country is prepared to send 150,000 missiles to attack Israel.

Ahmad Vahidi, who is wanted by Interpol for his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish centre, was quoted making the claim by the Fars News agency.


Mumbai terror victim's brother: 'I was waiting for a miracle'

November 25, 2011

The brother of one of the victims of the Mumbai terror massacre has visited the Jewish centre that was attacked and recalled the story of the killing spree.

This weekend marks the three year anniversary of the attack, when Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg was killed at the Chabad house with his pregnant wife Rivka and four visitors.


Sarkozy: Netanyahu 'liar' gaffe was misunderstood

By Jennifer Lipman, November 25, 2011

The French president has attempted to smooth the waters after his comments criticising Israel's Prime Minister were overheard by reporters.

Earlier this month Nicolas Sarkozy and President Barack Obama were left red-faced when it emerged that the former had complained that Benjamin Netanyahu was a liar.


Chance to visit Anne Frank's family home

By Jennifer Lipman, November 24, 2011

Visitors to Amsterdam next month will be given a unique chance to see where Anne Frank and her family lived before their lives were torn apart by the Nazis.

More than a million tourists every year go to the Anne Frank House, where the family hid for two years. But a handful can now also visit her former home on Merwedeplein, a street in southern Amsterdam.


Abbas: Hamas-Fatah talks opened 'new page'

By Jennifer Lipman, November 24, 2011

The Palestinian president has said that a "new page" has been opened in communication between Fatah and its rival Hamas, following a meeting in Cairo earlier today.

President Mahmoud Abbas said that the two hour talk was positive and that agreements had been reached over their differences. He said that both Hamas and Fatah had agreed to hold presidential parliamentary elections in May


Turkey in £6m shul initiative

By Marcus Dysch, November 24, 2011

The reconstruction of seven historic synagogues in a Turkish city will act as a tool to teach Muslims about Jewish history, according to directors of the project.

The synagogues of Izmir date back to the 17th century, but lie largely in ruins after years of neglect.

The city, in western Turkey, is now home to only 1,200 Jews, but was once one of the world's most vibrant Jewish communities.


French Socialists to fire four Jewish MPs

By Michel Zlotowski, November 24, 2011

The french Socialist Party is due to sack four Jewish MPs as part of a coalition deal with the Green Party ahead of next year's elections.

The Socialists and the Greens signed an agreement last month to back one candidate per constituency for the 2012 National Assembly poll.