Anshel Pfeffer

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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Bibi's restraint wins him friends abroad - and enemies at home

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2014

One description you don't usually hear of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is "risk-averse". But in recent days, in the Israeli media and the upper echelons of the defence establishment, in Knesset corridors and even among foreign diplomats who rarely have a good word to say about Bibi, this label has been regularly attached to him.

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Iran nuclear talks still in deadlock

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 17, 2014

Talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme remained at an impasse this week as the deadline for achieving a comprehensive agreement loomed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who participated in the negotiations for two days, said on Tuesday that despite some progress, "very real gaps" remained.

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They are deadlier than Hamas, says Mossad head

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 11, 2014

Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo caused a stir in Israel last week when he said that the Islamic State (formerly known as Isis) were more of a threat to Israel than Hamas.

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Bacteria's smart tactics revealed

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 11, 2014

Bacteria have the ability to predict when people will take antibiotics and learn to dodge them, Israeli researchers have found.

The discovery comes as a UK government report warned this week that antibiotic-resistant bacteria could spark a return "to the dark ages of medicine".

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No end in sight as the rockets reach Haifa

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 10, 2014

There is no end in sight to the latest round of warfare between Hamas and Israel, in which hundreds of missiles have been fired from Gaza into Israel and a massive Israeli air campaign was unleashed in retaliation.

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Life comes to grinding halt across Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 10, 2014

Israelis living around the borders of Gaza and in the northern Negev region have become accustomed to having their lives disrupted by mortar and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

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Bibi in media blitz as Iran talks falter

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 10, 2014

The final round of talks before the deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme has entered a second week without any sign of a breakthrough.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused Israel and the US on Monday of using intimidatory tactics in the talks between the world powers and the Islamic Republic in Vienna.

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Rabbi's fury as Beth Din overruled in brit case

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 4, 2014

The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that a Beth Din - a rabbinical court - cannot order a mother to have her son circumcised as part of a divorce case.

Last Sunday, a specially expanded forum of seven judges examined the case of a divorcing Netanya couple locked in dispute over the late circumcision of their son.

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Israel fires warning to jihadis

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 4, 2014

As the jihadis in Iraq gain ground and control of the country's borders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged this week that Israel plans to support Jordan if the Hashemite Kingdom is threatened.

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Israel boils, but Bibi must keep the lid on

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 3, 2014

Yet another round of violence in Gaza and the West Bank is the last thing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs right now.

Although the desire for retribution over the deaths of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach remains powerful, Mr Netanyahu needs to focus his attention on the nuclear talks in Vienna.

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