Anshel Pfeffer

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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Prosor: no chance for Israel at UN

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2011

The Israeli government is still undecided on how best to respond to the now almost-certain overwhelming vote in favour of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

According to an assessment sent to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem by its ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hopes of a significant group of Western countries

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Tel Aviv nightclub attack sparks terror fears

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2011

The terror attack near a nightclub in south Tel Aviv last weekend was an isolated incident but security forces are worried that it is a harbinger of a wave of new attacks that will intensify towards the United Nations General Assembly vote on Palestinian independence at the end of the month.

Mohammed Sufan, a 20-year-old from the Kalkilya area, seemed to have acted without the backing of a terr

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Syria's chemical weapons may land in the lap of Hizbollah

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2011

Control of large stockpiles of chemical weapons manufactured and held by the Syrian army is a major concern for Israel following a possible breakdown of control by the Assad regime.

While they have never used them on the battlefield, the Syrians are known to have manufactured, with North Korean and Iranian assistance, large quantities of chemical agents, mainly nerve gas such as Sarin and VX.

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Turkey and Israel in scramble to avert diplomatic deep freeze

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2011

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are still seeking a formula whereby the two countries can find a way to put the Gaza flotilla crisis behind them.

The United Nations report on the 2010 flotilla - expected to justify Israel's actions to a large degree - is to be published this weekend. After its release, it will be extremely difficult to reach a compromise.

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Jerusalem's multi-faith train crosses city, creed and gender

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 25, 2011

It might be seven years later than the original schedule and take twice the time to arrive than that promised by its planners, but as of last Friday, Jerusalem finally has Israel's first light-rail network.

Well, not exactly a network: so far there is only one line, 14 kilometres from the Pisgat Ze'ev neighbourhood in the north-eastern corner of the capital, all the way through the town centre

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Egypt: relations deteriorate

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 25, 2011

The relationship between Israel and Egypt was further strained over the past week as the Egyptian government accused Israeli soldiers of responsibility for the deaths of five of its border guards during the terror attack near Eilat last Thursday.

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Eilat: incursions set to continue

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 25, 2011

The escalation in Israel's south ended almost as abruptly as it began, with no clear winners. Israel lost seven civilians and two soldiers in the terror attack on the border near Eilat. In retaliation, it killed 12 members of terrorist groups in Gaza, including those who allegedly planned the attack.

Three Palestinian civilians were also killed.

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Gaddafi is gone but will Assad be next?

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 25, 2011

The collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya this week is expected to have little direct effect on Israel, but it could provide inspiration for the pro-democracy forces in Syria.

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