Anshel Pfeffer

Mosque attack latest in revenge campaign

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 6, 2011

An arson attack on a mosque in Israel's north this week escalated into a two-day rioting spree increasing the security services' fears of extreme right-wing violence.

The arsonists set light to the mosque in the village of Tuba Zangaria in the Upper Galilee in the early hours of Monday morning, causing major damage to the building's interior and burning hundreds of Korans and other prayer-books

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Defence cuts 'madness' say IDF chiefs

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 27, 2011

The battle for social justice, demanded by hundreds of thousands on the streets of Israel throughout the summer, is swiftly becoming the battle for the defence budget.

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Palestinian UN bid: so much for the diplomatic tsunami

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 27, 2011

Mahmoud Abbas's first stop upon his return to Ramallah on Sunday was at the grave of his predecessor, Yasir Arafat. Ostensibly he was paying homage to the father of the Palestinian national movement. In reality he was finally claiming the leader's mantle.

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Israel moves to reduce power of big business

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

Two high-level government committees are about to change the way Israel's economy functions.

One of the two bodies addressed the issue of cross-ownership in a report issued on Monday. The other, which is due to deliver its initial report next week, will propose new priorities for the government's budget.

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Yachimovich wins Labour election

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

Shelly Yachimovich, a former journalist and broadcaster, will be the next leader of Israel's Labour Party, only six years after entering politics.

Ms Yachimovich won the second round of leadership primaries with around 55 per cent of the votes, beating her former political patron, Amir Peretz.

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PA security keep the peace in the West Bank

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

"So far, the Palestinians are sticking by our arrangements," said the senior IDF officer as he looked from afar at the small group of Palestinian youths throwing stones and bottles at the Kalandia Crossing, north of Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

The stone-throwing at what has become over years the "traditional" flashpoint between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators, surprised no-one.

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A perilous yet defining moment

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

Despite the frenzy of diplomacy surrounding the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations headquarters this week, it was still unclear on Wednesday what would happen.

An Israeli offer to renew talks, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to postpone his demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state, was turned down by the Palestinians since it did not inc

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Ambassador's villa in Israel up for sale

By Anshel Pfeffer and Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The residence of Britain's ambassador to Israel is to be sold, amid plans to move the diplomat to a more modern, accessible property.

The Foreign Office has put the luxurious villa on the market following spending cuts.

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Interview: Ddov Shefi

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 15, 2011

Hagay Shefi always was early for things. In his 20s he already headed a unit in Israel's Defence Ministry's budget department.

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Fiery election hints at a new beginning

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 15, 2011

Labour party members will go back to the polls next Wednesday after none of the four leadership candidates gained the 40 per cent of votes necessary to win Monday's primaries.

For the party that founded Israel and governed it for its first three decades, the choice will be between two avowed social-democrats, Shelly Yachimovich and Amir Peretz, who emerged from this week's vote almost on level

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IDF prepared for worst, but 'uprising unlikely'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 15, 2011

"We are preparing for the worst," said an officer in the IDF's Central Command this week, "but we honestly do not believe that there will be an escalation this month."

Tens of thousands of soldiers and police officers have undergone special training for dealing with mass non-violent demonstrations over the past three months and the army and police have stockpiled £13m worth of new riot-control

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Late rush to stop Abbas bid at UN

By Anshel Pfeffer and Martin Bright, September 15, 2011

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to deliver a speech today in which he is expected to announce the Palestinian Authority's finalintentions regarding the UN General Assembly at the end of the month.

Mr Abbas has been under intense diplomatic pressure from all sides in recent days over his decision.

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Egyptian street: the big worry

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 15, 2011

While maintaining close ties with Israel, Egypt's former leader Hosni Mubarak never did anything to counter the virulent animosity towards the Jewish state found throughout Egyptian society.

Meanwhile, his temporary successors, the military government, will not go out on a limb to defend the Jewish state - not while the Palestinians are challenging Israel at the UN and Turkey is ramping up its

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Erdogan tells Cairo: 'Flotilla cause for war'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 15, 2011

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was received with mixed feelings in Cairo this week on the first leg of his Middle East tour.

While his criticism of Israel was accepted with enthusiasm, the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood were anxious to make it clear that they would decide their own policies independently.

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Protesters plan new political party

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 8, 2011

After the biggest night of protests in Israel's history, the tent sites that launched the nationwide campaign for a new social and financial agenda six months ago were being dismantled this week.

The biggest question facing the protest movement now is what political impact will it have in the long term.

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Hamas group that 'blew up Brit' is caught

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 8, 2011

The Hamas terror cell that allegedly murdered British tourist Mary-Jane Gardner in a bomb attack on the Jerusalem central bus station in March has been captured.

Members of the cell,which was operating on orders from Hamas's headquarters in Damascus, were arrested in Jerusalem and the West Bank last month while planning another bomb attack in the city, according to Israel's internal security ag

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Israel resigned to Palestinian success

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 8, 2011

Last-ditch diplomatic attempts this week to convince the Palestinian leadership to postpone its plan to receive United Nations recognition of an independent state are not expected to succeed.

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How the Israel-Turkey talks fell apart

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 8, 2011

The dispute between Israel and Turkey involved national pride, diplomatic posturing and regional interests, but protracted negotiations between the two countries often seemed to hinge on just one word.

"The government hired some of the top linguists, experts in the English language and the phrasing of international agreements," said one senior Israeli official, "just to come up with best formul

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'Only deal Turkey sought was Israel's humiliation'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 8, 2011

The relationship between Israel and Turkey hit rock bottom this week when the government in Ankara downgraded diplomatic ties and cancelled all commercial and military agreements between the two countries.

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South Israel on high alert as threats grow

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2011

Israel's southern border has been on high alert since the beginning of the week following intelligence warnings of Gazan terror groups planning an attack from Sinai.

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