Anshel Pfeffer

Israeli-Palestinian security ties keep chaos at bay

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 26, 2014

The one clear point that has emerged from the Israeli operation following the kidnapping two weeks ago is that security co-ordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remains strong. In fact, it is probably the most reliable link in their increasingly shaky relationship.

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Hopes begin to bite the dust

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 26, 2014

The Israeli operation that began following the kidnapping of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach was scaled down this week.

The emphasis has shifted from a widespread manhunt and mass arrests of Hamas members to intelligence-gathering and more focused searches.

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Autopsy reveals live bullets

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 19, 2014

An autopsy of the body of Nadim Nawara, one of the two Palestinian teenagers killed last month north of Jerusalem, has indicated that his death was caused by live bullets.

The IDF has denied that its forces used live fire in the incident in which Nawara and Muhmmad Salama, both 17, were killed.

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Analysis: Hamas may yet be consumed by its own inferno

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 19, 2014

A kidnap of Israeli civilians or soldiers could have happened at any time in recent years.

Since Hamas released IDF Sergeant Gilad Shalit in October 2011, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, the Shin Bet has detected 101 kidnap attempts by Palestinian organisations.

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Israel watches in horror as jihadis carve up Mid East

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 19, 2014

The remarkable advance of the terror group Islamist State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) though north-eastern Iraq over the past two weeks has sparked Israeli fears over instability in neighbouring Jordan and the prospect of closer ties between the West and Iran.

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Clinton reveals Mid-East dissent

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2014

Hillary Clinton, the former United States Secretary of State and the woman widely regarded as the favourite to win the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential elections, has launched an attack in her new memoir, Hard Choices, on the Obama administration's policy in the Middle East.

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Bleak Syria war outlook stiffens Israel's defence

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2014

Israel has strengthened its defences on the Golan border with Syria amid concerns from the Israeli intelligence community that the civil war could continue for another 10 years.

A newly installed Iron Dome missile defence system was used for the first time on the Golan when two rockets were fired across the border from Syrian territory last week.

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Egypt snub is not bad news

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2014

Egypt's new president, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in on Sunday in a ceremony in Cairo. Leaders from across the Middle East were invited except for those of four countries: Syria, Turkey, Qatar and Israel.

Syria's omission was expected; President Bashar Assad is shunned as the leader who is butchering his own people with impunity.

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Peres prepares for a return to politics at the age of 91

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2014

As Israel's president, Shimon Peres, joined Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican for an interfaith prayer service, few in Israel were under the illusion that they were watching Peres's final conciliatory act.

Upon landing in Rome, he told reporters with a smile "I can't talk politics," but the inference was clear.

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'Rubi' wins presidential race

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2014

A long and acrimonious campaign came to an end this week with the election of former Knesset speaker and Likud veteran, Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin, as Israel's 10th president.

Mr Rivlin, who is 74, came first out of five candidates with 44 votes in the first round of balloting in the Knesset, and prevailed over former minister Meir Sheetrit with 63 votes in the second round.

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Coalition division widens

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 12, 2014

The rift within the Israeli coalition between Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist partners widened this week.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni both warned that any move to annex settlements would result in the government's fall.

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Jewish community was key to successful Ukraine poll

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2014

EXCLUSIVE

Jewish leaders in Kiev have welcomed the election of Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president amid hopes that the establishment of a new government will bring stability back to the country. Jews in the east of the country were less hopeful, however.

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Impoverished Moldova fears Jewish exodus

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2014

The small Jewish community of Moldova is charting an uncertain path between a revival of Jewish life and the departure of many of its young people.

At the Moldova Limmud that took place in Chisinau last weekend, 400 local Jews came together to hear lectures, take part in cultural events and socialise — but also to discuss their future.

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Final list emerges for Israeli president race

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 28, 2014

Six contenders remained in the race to be Israel’s next president as the list closed on Tuesday.

The candidates, who managed to collect the necessary ten signatures of Knesset members, included three serving MKs.

Former Speaker Rubi Rivlin is widely regarded the front-runner, although he has not been endorsed as his Likud party’s official candidate.

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Rivlin in pole position to succeed Peres as Israel’s next president

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 27, 2014

Six candidates remain in the race to be Israel's next president as the list closed today.

The candidates who managed to collect the necessary ten signatures of Knesset members include three serving MKs.

Former Speaker Rubi Rivlin (Likud) is widely regarded the front-runner, although he has not been endorsed as his party's official candidate.

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Inevitable win for Al-Sisi in Egypt will boost Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2014

ANALYSIS

The results of next week’s presidential election in Egypt are in no doubt. Former army chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the country’s de-facto ruler since last year’s military coup, is looking at landslide victory.

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Ex-ICC lawyer praises Israeli legal system

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 22, 2014

Former International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has downplayed fears that Palestinian access to The Hague will result in a tidal wave of war crime indictments against Israelis.

Now that the Palestinian Authority has had its UN status upgraded to non-member observer state, it is eligible to join the court, though the PA has yet to do so.

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Israel’s presidential race kicks off — despite Netanyahu

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 22, 2014

The Knesset will elect a new president for Israel on June 10.

Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s decision to call the vote in two-and-a-half weeks effectively ended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s short-lived attempt to abolish the presidency.

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Possible Iran-Saudi deal on Syria prompts deep concern

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 16, 2014

Two of the most bitter rivals in the Middle East, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are preparing to co-operate on lowering tensions in the region, particularly in Syria. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia invited Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to visit Riyadh.

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US-Israel relations hit nadir over spy allegations

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 16, 2014

Two high-profile reports in Newsweek magazine on Israel’s espionage campaign against its American allies are a sign that the relationship between the two countries has sunk to a new low point.

The reports quote former American intelligence officials and Congressional staffers who claim that Israel has “crossed red lines” in its attempts to obtain confidential information.

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