Anshel Pfeffer

Palestinians ‘prefer terror and Hamas over talks’

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2015

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Israel for what he described as "justified popular unrest" among young Palestinians in a speech this week.

It appeared that Mr Abbas was reflecting public opinion. A survey published this week by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research suggested that 67 per cent of Palestinians supported the ongoing wave of terror.

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Erdogan hints at détente

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 16, 2015

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Sunday that the "normalisation process" between Israel and Turkey "would be good for us, Israel, Palestine and the entire region".

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Breaking Shabbat law could lead to fines or jail for Israelis

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 10, 2015

A new Shabbat law is causing strife in the Israeli coalition.

The law, proposed by Likud's deputy interior minister Yaron Mazuz, will set much sterner fines for businesses which open on Shabbat.

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Israel bans European school trips over security fears

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 3, 2015

The Israeli Education Ministry has banned most school trips to Europe over fears of further operations by Daesh.

In a special directive that went out to all Israeli schools this week, the ministry's security department instructed schools to suspend all delegations and trips to Europe unless the students are accompanied by certified security personnel.

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IDF in rift with political right on anti-terror

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 3, 2015

The enduring wave of Palestinian attacks on Israeli citizens has led to a deepening rift between the Israeli security establishment and the right-wing section of the coalition.

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Israel and Russia reinforce ties as Middle East storm rages

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 3, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu had not been planning to attend the climate conference in Paris - environmental protection and global warming is not high on the Israeli prime minister's agenda.

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Bibi suspends EU from any peace process role

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 3, 2015

In the aftermath of the European Union's decision last month to issue guidelines on labelling Israeli products from outside the pre-1967 border lines, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to suspend engagements with the EU over all matters related to the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

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Hizbollah boosted as focus shifts to Daesh

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2015

The elevation of Daesh in the wake of the Paris attacks to Global Enemy Number One has mixed implications for Israel.

It means that the ongoing wave of Palestinian attacks will be starved of international attention. Whether this will dampen down the flames or fuel Palestinian desperation remains to be seen.

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After 30 years, woman told: 'You're no Jew'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2015

A ruling by a regional rabbinical court in Israel to retroactively cancel a women's conversion to Judaism 30 years on is causing a storm in religious circles.

The decision was made three years ago but only came to light this week after the daughter of the convert decided to appeal.

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France will now hold its nose and join Russia to crush Caliphate

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2015

Beyond Friday night's carnage in Paris, there were two crucial developments this week. First, there is the emerging realisation in the West that Daesh is no longer just bolstering its Islamic Caliphate in Syria and Iraq but is now planning and carrying out major terror attacks in Europe.

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Welcome to Molenbeek, the jihadi nest at heart of Europe

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2015

One neighbourhood in western Brussels has become the focus of attention for European security services in the wake of the Paris attack.

It has emerged that the suburb of Molenbeek served as a planning and logistics base for the jihadis.

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Settlements authorised after 18-month freeze

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2015

After an 18-month settlement freeze, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of right-wing politicians this week that he would authorise 454 new flats in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramat Shlomo, which lies beyond the Green Line.

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Hebron killing leaves Israel in tears

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2015

Although violence has largely died down in most of Israel, it is continuing in the West Bank.

On Friday afternoon, an Israeli father and son were shot dead by a Palestinian in a drive-by shooting south of Hebron. And on Sunday night, two Palestinians were killed in Kalkilya after they shot at IDF soldiers demolishing the homes of men who had killed an Israeli five months ago.

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New hasbara chief proving diplomatic disaster for Bibi

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

The expected decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel the appointment of a new communications chief is likely to postpone the arrival of Israel's new ambassador in Britain.

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Why Obama and Bibi wanted to make up for the camera

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

It was, said Benjamin Netanyahu after the two-and-a-half hour meeting with Barack Obama in the White House on Monday, the best meeting yet between the two leaders.

As they had not met for more than 13 months, and the intervening period had been one of the most difficult for the Israeli-US strategic relationship, the bar had been set quite low.

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Tiny portion of attackers are Israeli-Arabs

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

Despite an upswing of violence in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, the attacks on Israeli citizens and security personnel have mainly taken place in the West Bank, particularly in Hebron and south of Jerusalem, in the past two weeks.

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Anger as defence chief postpones Charedi draft

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

The implementation of Israel's national service law, which was created to regulate the enlistment of Charedi men into the IDF, is to be pushed back.

The move reflects the terms of the coalition deal that was signed earlier this year by the strictly Orthodox parties and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who agreed to soften the law in order to secure Charedi support in government.

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EU labelling is not what it seems

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 12, 2015

Israel's official response to the publication this week of the European Commission's guidelines on labelling settlement produce was harsh.

Government press offices put out statements protesting over Europe's "double standards" and announced the suspension of all high-level meetings with European Union officials.

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Can Erdogan bring stability? Unlikely

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2015

The Turkish electorate went back a second time to the polls on Sunday and voted for stability. After five months of a hung parliament, terror attacks, media repression and renewed warfare with the Kurds, enough voters returned to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to enable Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a majority government.

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Israel in last-minute fight to ward off EU labelling

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2015

Israel is waging a diplomatic battle to try to prevent the publication next week of Europe-wide guidelines on labelling goods made in the settlements.

While the precise wording of the guidelines is still not clear and may not be completed until hours before the document is published, Israeli politicians and diplomats see any new directive as a setback.

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