World news

Dubai seeks Netanyahu arrest

By Jessica Elgot, March 3, 2010

Dubai’s police chief says he will seek an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in connection with the murder of a senior Hamas figure in Dubai.

Dahi Khalfan Tamim told the Al Jazeera tv station that he will ask the Dubai prosecutor for an arrest warrant for Mr Netanyahu, and for the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan.

Mr Tamim has previously said that he is “99 per cent certain” that Mossad is behind the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who died in his luxury hotel room in Dubai in January.


Cologne refuses action against artist 'blood libel'

By Jessica Elgot, March 2, 2010

An anti-Israel display in Cologne, which features a cartoon of an Israeli eating a Palestinian child, does not incite racial hatred, the public prosecutor has ruled.

The image is part of a longstanding display put up in Cologne’s Cathedral Square by Walter Herrmann, named the “Wailing Wall”.

The display has now been removed from the square but Mr Herrmann has posted a sign that he plans to remount the “Wailing Wall” in June.

Many of the town’s councillors have appealed for the exhibition to be taken down.


Irish minister 'regrets' protest at Israel envoy

By Marcus Dysch, March 2, 2010

Ireland’s foreign minister has said he regrets a town council’s decision to remove a page, signed by the Israeli ambassador, from its visitors’ book.

Zion Evrony, Israel’s envoy to Ireland, visited Carrickmacross at the end of January but was met by a political row and protests from angry Sinn Féin councillors.

They proposed that the council should “remove” the page signed by Dr Evrony from the visitors’ book.

Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said he “regrets” the incident and believes states should treat each other with respect.


Police interview Dubai murder passport holders

By Jessica Elgot, March 1, 2010

British police have arrived in Israel to interview the British citizens whose passports were used in the assassination of a senior Hamas militant in Dubai.

Two senior police officers are set to meet the six British citizens, all of whom made hold dual British and Israeli nationality, whose passports were used by the assassins who killed Hamas’s Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told European foreign ministers in Brussels last week that there was no evidence that Israel was involved in the murder.


UK: Extra time for UN Israel war crimes probe

By Jessica Elgot, February 26, 2010

Britain has endorsed a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly which gives both Israel and the Palestinians a further five months to launch independent investigations of alleged war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead.

The resolution was adopted Friday by a vote of 98-7 with 31 abstentions. Fifty-six countries did not vote.

There were fewer votes than expected because some countries were hampered reaching the UN due to snow in New York.


'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.