World news

'America is blocking the Shalit exchange'

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2010

The talks over a prisoner deal in which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit could be released are set to resume over the next few days with the return of the German mediator to the region.
The talks have been frozen for almost two months following Hamas's failure to respond to Israel's latest proposal to release almost 500 Palestinians prisoners, with a quarter of them sent into exile abroad, away from the West Bank. Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Russia that this was Israel's last offer.


Israeli ministry ‘boycotted’ J Street

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2010

In what is being seen as an abrupt reversal of policy, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has tried to smooth over ruffled feathers after it apparently boycotted an American congressional delegation to Israel, sponsored by the left-wing advocacy group, J Street.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon allegedly refused to meet the five Congress members, and President Shimon Peres did not find time to meet them either.


Couple fined for son's circumcision by British rabbi

By Jessica Elgot, February 25, 2010

A Finnish couple who employed a British rabbi to circumcise their son must pay their child 1,500 Euros in damages after a Helsinki court found them guilty of conspiracy to commit bodily harm.

Moshe and Miriam Levi, members of Helsinki Community Synagogue, asked Chabad of Finland, to organise the circumcision for their son Aviv, their first child.

Dan Kantor, executive director of the Jewish community of Helsinki, said the couple were strictly Orthodox and did not want to use the mohel of the Helsinki shul, or a mohel from Sweden.


More British passports linked to Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 23, 2010

Two more British passports have been linked to the assassination team that killed a Hamas militant in Dubai.

Two additional Irish passports were also linked to the killing. Yesterday in Brussels, Foreign Secretary David Miliband held a 45-minute meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to discuss allegations that the death of Hamas’s Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was the work of Mossad agents.


Lieberman: Don't blame Mossad for Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 22, 2010

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has told his Irish counterpart that there was no evidence Mossad carried out the murder of a Hamas militant in Dubai.

Mr Lieberman met Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin in Brussels to discuss the use of false Irish passports by the assassins, suspected to be Israeli intelligence agents. Six British passports were also used.

Mr Lieberman said: “The Middle East has a lot of internal struggles between nations and bodies that are not as democratic as Israel.” He clarified that he meant bodies such as Fatah and Hamas.


Former Ilford pupil dies in go-karting accident

By Robyn Rosen, February 22, 2010

A former Ilford Jewish Primary School pupil has died after her scarf became tangled in a go-kart in Hong Kong.

Amy Rose Coxall, 15, was go-karting with friends at the Diamond Coast International Kart Circuit in Tuen Mun when her go-kart reportedly veered off the track and stopped suddenly.

Local reports suggest that Amy was pronounced dead on arrival at the Tuen Mun Hospital at 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Amy was a pupil at Ilford Jewish Primary School for two months in 1999 before her family moved to Hong Kong, where she was a pupil at the Island School.


Israel's camel cavalry: How to improve Israel's PR

February 19, 2010

Israel's information and diaspora minister, Yuli Edelstein, arrived in Britain today at the forefront of a new campaign designed to improve the country's tarnished public relations image.

The timing could scarcely be worse, in the wake of the intense media speculation about the murder in Dubai last month.

But Mr Edelstein brushed off the issue, saying first that the campaign had been more than six months in the planning, and second, that he did not "have the first idea who is responsible for the Dubai killing — and I checked with the right sources yesterday."


Mossad 'told MI6 before Dubai murder'

By Jessica Elgot, February 19, 2010

A Mossad agent has apparently claimed that British intelligence was tipped off hours before about a high-profile assassination, and that British passports would be used.

Although the target, Hamas military leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, and the location, a luxury hotel in Dubai, were not named, the source told the Daily Mail that MI6 knew the operation was imminent.

The Mossad agent reportedly said that British ministers were “going through the motions” by calling in the Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor yesterday.


Interpol wanted notices for Dubai Hamas assassins

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010

Interpol has issued wanted notices for the suspected Mossad agents accused of killing a Hamas militant in a luxury Dubai hotel.

Interpol’s website published pictures of the 11 assassins they wished to trace in connection with the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Their offence is listed as “crimes against life and health”.

The wanted notices released by Interpol do not constitute an international arrest warrant. Instead, they give details of the accused, to be disseminated worldwide, and request that they be arrested.


Dubai assassination was a masterclass in intelligence

By Scott Stewart, February 18, 2010

There have been enormous and dramatic changes in the use of passports and visas over the last 10 to 15 years. It is no longer so easy to counterfeit, and it is also much harder to alter such documents.

Today - ironically, in order to prevent terrorists travelling - passports and visas now have RFID chips embedded, making them much harder to forge. A lot of the lower-level kind of forgeries will diminish and in future it will only be the high-end counterfeiters who will operate.