Anshel Pfeffer

Did secret IDF unit provide proof of chemical weapons use?

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

The most visible sign of the largest unit in the IDF is a series of giant golf-ball-shaped antennae. These can be seen from the main coastal road north of Tel Aviv and in similar, more remote, spots across the country.

Almost every other detail regarding Unit 8200, however, including the name of its commander, Brigadier General A, are not to be published in Israeli media.

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Hamas divided over Iran links

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

Hamas is split over the question of its ties with Iran in the wake of the civil war in Syria.

The Palestinian movement shut down its offices in Damascus last year and aligned itself with Egypt and Qatar but, following recent regional developments, it has found itself without supporters.

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Israel ‘ready for every scenario’

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

As the US plans to attack Syria have been put on hold for at least a week, the IDF has completed its preparations for possible retaliation against Israel and allowed some of the reservists who had been called up to go home.

Israeli intelligence analysts do not expect the Assad regime to risk trying to strike Israel following the US attack.

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Assad and Iranians are bolder now, fears Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2013

Israel was unfazed by last Thursday’s vote in Parliament against British military intervention in Syria.

The Israeli government believes that the Obama administration will still act without Britain and the main concerns are over the implications of the political difficulties in London and Washington for future action against Iran’s nuclear programme.

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Joy and pain as last Ethiopians make aliyah

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 30, 2013

A small group of toddlers are singing a Hebrew nursery rhyme in a room filled with Israeli posters. Their teacher asks them in Hebrew to point at their tummies, then their noses and their ears.

It could be any kindergarten class in Israel, but this Africa and these children are part of the last group of Ethiopian immigrants to be brought to Israel.

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France: we must revisit EU advisory

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 30, 2013

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has given the first indication that the European Union may make changes to its new guidelines on funding Israeli organisations.

The advisory limits all financial co-operation between Israel and the EU to organisations that are not involved in any operations beyond the Green Line.

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Mayoral race that all Israel is watching

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 30, 2013

Local elections in Israel are normally just that — local.

While the national parties have representatives at the municipal level, many of the country’s mayors and council leaders are political independents, leading lists consisting of candidates from across the spectrum. Campaigns are generally fought out over issues closer to home, not the left-right divide.

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Plutonium: Iran’s other route to a bomb

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 30, 2013

As Iran gears up for the next round of international negotiations over its uranium enrichment programme — as-yet unscheduled — Western intelligence agencies are concerned that it is pursuing a dual-track route towards the possession of nuclear weapons.

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Jihadists try to drag Israel into Syria war

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 29, 2013

As Lebanon rapidly becomes engulfed by the fighting in neighbouring Syria, various factions in the country are trying to pull Israel into the conflict.

On Friday morning, Israeli planes bombed a base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) near Beirut, retaliating after the launch of four Katyusha rockets the previous day from Lebanon.

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West thinks it can hit targets while staying out of the Syria war. Forget it

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 29, 2013

The most misleading headline in recent days has been the “War in Syria”, referring to what now appears to be an attack by the West on as-yet unspecified targets.

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Peace talks suspended after fatal clash near Ramallah

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 29, 2013

A botched arrest operation near Ramallah this week led to the highest number of casualties in Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the West Bank for over a year and caused the suspension of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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As the West gears up to strike Syria, Israelis prepare for the backlash

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 29, 2013

Israel is engaged in a nationwide push to prepare itself for potential retaliation by Syrian forces in the wake of a Western attack.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Cabinet called up a limited number of reservists, mainly to bolster the missile defence systems in the north and to improve home-front readiness.

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Unity plan for Fatah and Hamas dies

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 29, 2013

The counter-revolution in Egypt which cost Hamas its Muslim Brotherhood patrons has also put paid to the attempt to bring about reconciliation between the Islamist movement controlling Gaza and Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

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Ban Ki-moon admits: UN biased against Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2013

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted in a rare encounter with Israeli students last week that the organisation he heads is biased against Israel.

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Erdogan’s Israel remark reveals frustration

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2013

Even for a severe critic of Israel like Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the outburst on Tuesday appeared to be taking things to the extreme.

At a meeting of his party’s leaders in Ankara, Mr Erdogan launched a broadside against the Egyptian military that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood government last month.

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Hizbollah rattled by own brand of terror

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2013

No-one took seriously the claims by “Battalions of Ayesha” — a fictional terror group — that it had planted the massive car-bomb that ripped through a south Beirut neighbourhood last Thursday, killing at least 27 people and wounding over 200.

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Chemical weapons cited after horror attack in Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 22, 2013

The cause of the deaths of hundreds of Syrian civilians in the early hours of Wednesday in the eastern suburbs of Damascus is still uncertain.

The Syrian rebels claim that they were killed in a chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian army, but some chemical experts are skeptical.

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Egypt crisis pushes an unlikely axis: Israel-Saudi

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 21, 2013

Israel has found itself in agreement with an unlikely group of Middle Eastern countries over the ongoing turmoil in Egypt.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have joined Israel in an informal alliance that is backing Egypt’s de facto military government.

The predominantly Sunni Arab states are motivated by the desire to confront the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

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Blair-backed city that became beacon of hope

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 16, 2013

Its supporters see Rawabi as proof that the financial situation in the West Bank can improve and that a Palestinian middle-class is emerging. Its detractors see it as merely an extension of the “Ramallah bubble”, disconnected from the rest of the Palestinian territories and perpetuating the occupation.

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Despite violence, West sees Egypt’s military regime as lesser of two evils

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 15, 2013

EGYPTIAN STATE media, international news organisations and Islamist opposition sources offer widely different estimates of the number of pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters killed on the streets of Cairo on Wednesday.

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