Anshel Pfeffer

Why Israel wants Britain to stay firmly inside the EU

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 3, 2016

The Israeli government, unlike the Obama administration and the member states of the European Union, is extremely unlikely to express an official position on Britain's European referendum.

But off-record conversations with senior Israeli officials make the unofficial position clear: Israel would like to see the UK remaining firmly in.

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Gulf states label Hizbollah a terrorist organisation

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 3, 2016

The confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran took a turn for the worse this week when the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a six-member group of Sunni states on the Persian Gulf, announced that it was labelling Lebanese paramilitary group Hizbollah a terrorist organisation.

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Troops rescued after sat nav 'led them' into riot

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 3, 2016

A navigation mistake led to intense rioting in the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, on Monday night, as the IDF feared that at least one of its soldiers may have been kidnapped by Palestinians.

The incident took place when two soldiers from the IDF's elite K9 unit were driving back to base near Ramallah in the West Bank.

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Israel is concerned over wild card Trump in White House

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 2, 2016

The soaring success of Donald Trump is causing considerable concern within Israel's corridors of power.

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Why Israelis call this the 'ground zero' of terror

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2016

Once the main exit from the Old City of Jerusalem to the north, Damascus Gate - Sha'ar Shkhem in Hebrew or Bab al Amud in Arabic - is still a major thoroughfare and commercial centre of east Jerusalem.

In recent months it has also become one of the main sites for Palestinian attacks, and as a result is being called the "ground zero of terror".

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Split over plan to invest in Palestinians

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2016

A plan by Israel's Finance Minister, Moshe Kahlon, to allow Palestinian companies greater access to Israel's building sector could herald a split in the cabinet over both security and housing policy.

It comes as another showdown brews between Israel's security establishment and the government over policy on Gaza.

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Knesset debates 'suspension law' to ban Arab MKs

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 25, 2016

The Knesset Constitution and Law Committee began debating the "suspension law" this week, which is aimed at banning from parliament MKs who express support for terrorist acts.

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Media backlash after police detain Jerusalem journalist

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 18, 2016

Police detained for questioning one of the most prominent foreign journalists stationed in Israel on Tuesday following an anonymous complaint that proved to be baseless.

The Washington Post's Jerusalem bureau chief, William Booth, was working on a report with two other Post reporters, Sufian Taha and Ruth Eglash, on the recent terror attacks near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City.

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Israel makes up with EU

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 18, 2016

Israel has ended its policy of not engaging with the EU on the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

The decision to suspend all dialogue on this issue was taken in the wake of the EU's decision six months ago to publish guidelines on labelling settlement products.

Despite the move by Israel, EU policy on labelling will not change.

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New Shin Bet chief has Daesh near top of to-do list

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 15, 2016

Shin Bet veteran Nadav Argaman is to be appointed as the next chief of Israel’s domestic security service.

Mr Argaman, 55, who joined the Shin Bet straight from the IDF, where he was a special-forces officer, spent most of his 33-year career in the organisation’s operational division, which he led.

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Herzog revises Labour peace plan

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2016

Labour and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog has won himself at least temporary reprieve from the challenges to his leadership.

Delegates at Labour's conference this weekend unanimously endorsed his new diplomatic manifesto, despite the furore in the party over his recent statement distancing himself from the two-state solution and a long list of rivals preparing to run for his job.

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Iran takes a pole position in the Syrian killing fields

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2016

On the far side of the Syria-Turkish border crossing, tens of thousands of refugees from Aleppo and neighbouring towns are gathering, with no way forward and no way back.

Forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad, comprising mainly of Iraqi and Afghan Shia militias commanded by Iranian officers along with Syrian army units, have almost completed the encirclement of Aleppo.

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France's peace process threats will fade to black

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2016

Two competing narratives are now circulating in Jerusalem to explain the latest French plan to hold an international conference on the "viability" of the two-state solution and, in the absence of a diplomatic process, to unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state.

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Cyprus, Greece, Turkey all want deals with Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2016

When Syriza first swept to power in Greece in January 2015, no one could have foreseen that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and half his cabinet would mark the first anniversary of their government with a joint meeting with their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem.

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Attack by PA soldier sparks chaos fears

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2016

A gun attack on Israeli soldiers last Sunday by a member of the Palestinian Authority's security forces has led to the first closure of Ramallah in more than a decade and renewed concerns over a breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian security co-ordination.

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How key Bibi adviser helped Cameron win

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2016

The architect of Benjamin Netanyahu's last-minute election fight-back also advised the Conservative Party on its winning strategy 40 days later, it has been revealed.

Aron Shaviv, a British-Israeli political strategist who has worked on election campaigns in more than 20 countries, was the Likud campaign manager for the 2015 Knesset elections.

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Hamas and Fatah in talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2016

Having signed three reconciliation agreements that were never implemented, the two main Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, are meeting this weekend once again in an attempt to bridge their differences.

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School textbook under fire for 'ideological slant'

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2016

A new civics studies textbook for high schools has become the latest front in Israel's culture wars.

It has been five years in the making, and is the only textbook on the national curriculum for the matriculation exams that all schools - secular and religious, Jewish and Arab - have to use.

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‘Daesh is turning its attention to Israel’

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 28, 2016

Israel believes that an attack by Daesh is a matter of time.

In their annual strategic assessment which was presented to the cabinet earlier this month, the IDF’s intelligence experts said that the movement, currently being pushed back in Syria and Iraq, is likely to use its affiliated groups on the Golan or Syrian borders to launch an attack.

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‘Show me where I am inciting’

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 28, 2016

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that he opposes all forms of terrorism, is seeking a peace deal and was snubbed when he tried to arrange a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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