Anshel Pfeffer

Erdogan, a wannabe sultan

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 14, 2014

Turkish Airlines announced last week that it was cancelling two of its seven daily flights to Ben Gurion Airport.

Despite the fact that commercial ties between the two countries remain strong and Istanbul is an attractive and competitive hub for Israelis, President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan's relentless anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric has taken its toll.

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Iraq horror hands Israel a dream coalition

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 14, 2014

The decision by the Obama administration to launch air-strikes against Isis in Iraq over the weekend has brought to the fore a new Middle East crisis that, at least for a few days, overtook Gaza as the world's number one story.

But beyond shifting international attention, the chaos in Iraq, which is rapidly redrawing boundaries in the region, could have major implications for Israel.

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Diaspora buckling under Gaza war strain

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 14, 2014

Two weeks ago, at the height of the Gaza crisis, a high-level meeting was convened in secret in Jerusalem by Economics Minister Naftali Bennett - who also holds the diaspora portfolio in the cabinet - and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.

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Ending the war: the obstacles

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 14, 2014

Another round of escalation around Gaza appeared was averted at the last minute on Wednesday as negotiators in Cairo agreed to extend an expiring ceasefire until Monday night.

Securing a longer-term truce is proving difficult, however.

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IDF prepares for war crimes accusations

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2014

Two IDF teams are collecting evidence to respond to possible war crimes accusations in the wake of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

One team, headed by Major General Noam Tibon, commander of Northern Corps, has been investigating cases in which IDF fire caused civilian casualties, and is preparing a number of reports.

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Israel's political split grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2014

With the fighting in Gaza apparently over, Knesset members have begun to acclimatise themselves to a different political landscape.

The split within Likud between centrists and right-wingers has become more pronounced.

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Israel in tears over soldier who was abducted - then wasn't

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2014

For long hours on Friday, the IDF believed Hamas may have succeeded in capturing Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and spiriting him away through a tunnel to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

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Truce holds but both sides keep fingers on trigger

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2014

Israeli negotiators were seeking to hammer out a lasting truce with Hamas as the JC went to press on Wednesday night.

It is unclear, however, what that agreement will look like as Hamas refuses to contemplate dismantling its military infrastructure and the Israeli government has yet to formulate a detailed alternative to its policy of blockading the Gaza Strip.

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Increased West Bank terror

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 7, 2014

As the ceasefire in Gaza went into effect this week, fears are growing of a wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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Israel agonises over endgame as truces turn to dust

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2014

As the conflict in Gaza entered its fourth week and the prospects of a ceasefire looked slim, the Israeli security cabinet was split over whether to expand the operation and strike at the Hamas leadership or to continue a limited action to eradicate the terror group's tunnels.

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Why global governments have not turned on Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 31, 2014

Israeli diplomats and government officials have expressed surprise that the global media coverage of the secenes of devastation in Gaza have not sparked a diplomatic backlash and pressure on Israel to immediately end its ground operation in Gaza.

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Dismay as Iran nuclear talks unresolved

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 25, 2014

Israeli officials are sceptical that an extended deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme will block its attempts to achieve a nuclear weapon.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 world powers group broke up last Friday in Vienna having failed to reach an agreement. The deadline has been put back by four months.

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President's swearing-in scaled back due to war

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2014

The tenth president of Israel, Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin, was sworn in at the Knesset today in a ceremony shortened because of the ongoing fighting in Gaza. Farewell celebrations for outgoing President Shimon Peres were postponed.

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Egypt is the key player in any peace deal

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2014

The Gaza conflict is playing out against a much wider regional power-play that could be changing the balance in the Middle East.

A struggle is going on for influence between Egypt, aligned with Saudi Arabia and most of the other Gulf States, and, on the other side, Qatar and Turkey.

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Death toll mounts on both sides

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2014

In the space of seven days since the ground operation began last Thursday, Israeli units have uncovered the entrances to some 30 tunnels, a much larger underground network than the IDF originally believed to exist. The operation to destroy the tunnels has come at a price.

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Hamas fight on with no endgame and nothing left to lose

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2014

It is unclear who is currently calling the shots in Hamas. Is it the political or military leadership in Gaza, both currently underground, or the "external" leaders shuttling between Ankara, Doha and Cairo?

What is clear is that the only man who can ultimately sign off on a ceasefire is the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades chief of staff, Mohammed Deif.

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Ceasefire won't end Netanyahu's battles on the political front

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2014

A political battle awaits Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the moment a ceasefire with Hamas will be on the table. The Israeli security cabinet, which will be the forum where the proposal is voted on, will be split on whether to accept a truce or continue advancing into Gaza.

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Devastating exchanges in Hamas 'hub'

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 24, 2014

The eastern suburb of Gaza City, Shujaiyeh, has become a symbol of the conflict for both the Israeli and Palestinian sides following heavy casualties in fighting there this week. Palestinian sources claim that at least 60 people were killed, though some versions say it was the toll was as high as 100.

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Once again, Iron Dome is a strategy-changer

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2014

The success of the Iron Dome missile defence system throughout Operation Protective Edge has allowed Israel to hold back, for now, from launching a ground offensive in Gaza.

The rocket shield has also allowed Israel to accept Egyptian proposals for a ceasefire, even when it was clear that Hamas would continue firing rockets.

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Will a ground war be the next step?

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2014

Israel was contemplating escalating its military offensive against Hamas and Islamic Jihad after the Palestinian groups rejected a ceasefire proposal backed by the Arab League, and continued to fire rockets from Gaza.

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