Anshel Pfeffer

As crunch nears, Israeli leaders divided on peace process

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 20, 2013

As the Israelis and the Palestinians prepare their response to the framework proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry to renew talks, the Israeli government is split over the basic tenet of a peace solution: the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

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Turkey-Syria border: ‘Hizbollah murdered our villagers’

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 14, 2013

As news began filtering through that the Syrian town of Qusayr, next to Lebanon, had fallen to a combined force of the Syrian Army, Hizbollah and Shia and Allawite militiamen, at another of Syria’s borders, refugees from yet another civil war battlefield gathered.

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Late boost for reformist candidate in Iran election unlikely to bring change

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 14, 2013

Iran’s foreign policy is not expected to change whatever the result of today’s presidential elections, but the outcome is being closely monitored in the West in an attempt to gauge the Islamic Republic’s future direction.

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Settlement freeze backed by Lieberman

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2013

Former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has thrown his weight behind a temporary freeze on public building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Israeli firms ‘supplied US surveillance operations’

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2013

Technology developed by two leading Israeli software companies is thought to have been used in the American National Security Agency’s (NSA) Prism surveillance programme and other data-collecting schemes that were exposed in the international press last weekend.

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New Palestinian PM is walking into a bear pit

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 7, 2013

Professor Rami Hamdallah, the man appointed this week as the Palestinian Authority's new prime minister, is virtually unknown outside Palestinian circles.

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Coalition near-crisis over conscription

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

Israel’s governing coalition this week avoided its first major crisis since it was formed barely two months ago, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his defence minister to remove his opposition to a new national service law.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid had threatened to withdraw his party, Yesh Atid, from government if the law was not approved.

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Kerry sets out peace plan — with $4bn kick

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

American State Secretary John Kerry is awaiting answers from Israel and the Palestinians on his compromise proposal for a return to negotiations between the two sides.

Meanwhile, he is promoting, along with Tony Blair, a multi-million-dollar economic plan to help the Palestinian Authority.

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Hizbollah risking Lebanon to keep Assad

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2013

Hassan Nasrallah was once considered the most credible leader in the
Middle East.

Supporters and enemies of Hizbollah’s secretary-general knew that his threats were credible, his denials accurate and that, by contrast with the high-blown rhetoric of the region, he usually meant what he said.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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