Anshel Pfeffer

Putin arms sale threatens meltdown in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

The civil war in Syria threatened to escalate beyond its borders this week with the confirmation that Russia will supply Bashar al-Assad’s government with advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. The new weapons are said to be capable of shooting down aircraft in Israeli airspace.

More..

Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 24, 2013

The US State Department finally acknowledged this week what has been common knowledge in the Middle East for months — that the Syrian civil war has become a conflict between regional and global players in which foreign fighters and proxies are playing a growing role.

More..

Expense probe won’t let Bibi sleep easily

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2013

The Israeli State Comptroller is investigating the sharp rise in the taxpayer-funded expenses of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family.

The investigation was prompted by the emergence of new details on the costs of maintaining the Prime Minister’s family.

More..

Charedi school budget cuts on hold

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2013

Some of the more drastic cuts in the budgets of strictly Orthodox education have been dropped at the last moment from the new Israeli state budget.

More..

Israeli report: Muhammad al Durah not killed by Israeli soldiers

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2013

An Israeli government report published this week rebuts claims that Israeli troops killed a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad al Durah, in 2000. The report has once again focused attention on the case that became a symbol of the second Palestinian Intifada.

More..

Jerusalem road ‘obstacle to peace’

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 17, 2013

The inauguration of a new road in northern Jerusalem last week has alleviated traffic jams but also drawn criticism over its implications for the peace process.

Route 20 is a mile-long dual carriageway connecting the north-eastern neighbourhoods of Pisgat Zeev and Neve Ya’akov with the main north-south Begin Highway and the western exit from Jerusalem towards Tel Aviv.

More..

Thousands vent fury over Israeli budget

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 17, 2013

Nearly two years after hundreds of thousands of middle-class Israelis joined social justice protests against the government, the new state budget prompted further demonstrations last weekend.

Ten thousand people took part in the Saturday-night demonstration in central Tel Aviv, with smaller protests in other cities.

More..

I’ll make Tel Aviv greener (and pinker)

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 17, 2013

If Nitzan Horowitz wins Tel Aviv’s municipal election in October, the city will be able to mark a double first.

More..

Hamas not sourcing missiles

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 10, 2013

Israeli intelligence has found no evidence that Hamas is rebuilding the missile-firing capabilities damaged during Operation Pillar of Defence five months ago.

Hamas is instead focusing on its attempts to solidify political control of the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian movement.

More..

Israel quietly agrees to settlement freeze

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 9, 2013

The Israeli government has unofficially frozen settlement building in the West Bank following a request from US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mr Kerry has visited Israel twice in the past two months and has since held two more meetings with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of talks between Israel and the PA.

More..

‘The arms will be pointed at Israel sooner or later’

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 9, 2013

When a window of opportunity presented itself last weekend to prevent Hizbollah and jihadist fighters in Syria from acquiring strategic and chemical weapons, Israel acted.

The destruction of a missile depot and chemical weapons sites came after intelligence reports indicated that rapid action was imperative.

More..

Jilted Ayalon testifies against Lieberman

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 9, 2013

Two high-profile court cases this week saw dramatic testimonies.

In the trial of ex-foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is accused of pushing through a fraudulent appointment, his former deputy, Danny Ayalon, was a damning witness.

More..

Iranian presidential candidates reflect discontent with Ahmadinejad stance

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 3, 2013

The Iranian presidential elections are just under six weeks away and although the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is barred from running for a third term, his record is being attacked by a number of candidates. What is even more surprising is that they are attacking him on his policy towards Israel and the Jewish people.

More..

'With Erdogan in place Turkey can't be an ally'

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 3, 2013

A draft agreement between Israel and Turkey over compensation for the families of the nine Turkish citizens killed three years ago on the Mavi Marmara ferry was prepared last week in talks in Ankara between representatives of the two nations.

More..

'Drone designed by Iranians,' said Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 2, 2013

Hizbollah has repeatedly denied any connection to a drone which was shot down west of Haifa last Thursday evening.

According to the IDF, Israeli radars monitored the unmanned aerial vehicle as it flew out of Lebanese territory and over the Mediterranean.

More..

US considering arming rebels in Syria — despite Israeli warnings

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 2, 2013

for the first time, the US is considering arming rebel groups in Syria.

America’s toughening stance on the issue follows the reported use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

More..

West Bank stabbing, pinpoint strike in Gaza but ‘no escalation’

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 2, 2013

Evyatar Borovsky, an actor and security guard from the settlement of Yitzhar, who was stabbed to death on Tuesday, was the first Israeli killed in a terror attack in the West Bank in nearly two years.

Hours later, Israel carried out the first “targeted killing” of a terror operative in Gaza in five months.

More..

Olmert to run for Knesset in next election

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 25, 2013

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert announced in a meeting in London two weeks ago that he is aiming to secure the top job in Israeli politics once again.

At a charity fundraising dinner held at the Goldman Sachs offices in Canary Wharf, Mr Olmert welcomed the success of Yesh Atid and other new political forces in January’s Knesset election.

More..

Thousands hit by Israeli airline strike

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 25, 2013

Tens of thousands of Israelis and foreign travellers were stranded this week as the employees of three Israeli airlines, El Al, Arkia and Israir, went on a two-day strike.

This was the first major showdown between the new Netanyahu government and the trade unions, and ended on Monday night in a compromise deal.

More..

Israeli 'red lines' being crossed in Syria and Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 25, 2013

Israeli intelligence officials say the moment is fast approaching when the country’s so-called “red line” triggers for military action in both Syria and Iran will have been crossed.

President Bashar al-Assad is already believed to have crossed the line in Syria by using chemical weapons.

More..