Anshel Pfeffer

Could Sharon now live on in Bibi?

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 16, 2014

The Israelis who eulogised Ariel Sharon at his memorial and funeral on Monday either ignored or referred only in passing to his final political acts — the disengagement from Gaza and his departure from Likud to set up his new centrist party, Kadima.

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Palestinian embassy blast mystery

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 9, 2014

Mystery still surrounds the death of a Palestinian diplomat killed in Prague last week by an explosive device hidden in a safe.

Even if the explosion was an accident, as both the Czech police and the Palestinian Authority are claiming, it served as a reminder of the connections between Soviet Bloc powers and Palestinian terror back in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Glimpse of hope: Israel and the Palestinians inch closer to a framework agreement

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 9, 2014

In his 10th visit to the region in less than a year, US Secretary of State John Kerry inched closer this week to a “framework agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Ex-envoy says Israel killed all Amia culprits

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 9, 2014

A former Israeli ambassador sparked a diplomatic row with Argentina and may have inadvertently admitted Israel’s responsibility for a Mossad hit in an interview last Friday.

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Ariel Sharon: fighter, in life and near death

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 9, 2014

Israel is awaiting the death of its 11th prime minister, Ariel Sharon, as his medical condition has deteriorated to “critical”. Mr Sharon, 85, has been in a vegetative coma for eight years.

Since May 2006, Mr Sharon has been hospitalised at the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv. He has been stable but has not regained consciousness.

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Egypt bans the Brotherhood: a wise move?

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 3, 2014

Until six months ago, the Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt. Last week, the interim Egyptian government, backed by the military, declared the Brotherhood a terror outfit. The decision came in the wake of two bomb attacks on government security forces in the Nile Delta in less than a week. Sixteen people were killed and over 100 wounded in the attacks.

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Which jihadist? Israel mulls mystery rockets

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 3, 2014

No organisation took responsibility for the missiles fired from Lebanon into Israel last weekend.

Five Katyusha rockets were launched but only one landed on Israeli territory, in an open field by the town of Kiryat Shmona. No damage or casualties resulted. IDF artillery fired a number of salvoes towards the launch-area in south Lebanon.

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Israeli electoral reform ‘blocks Arab parties’

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 2, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have agreed to jointly reform the Israeli electoral system by raising the threshold for election to the Knesset to a minimum of 3.25 per cent of the vote for each party.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu fights coalition as peace caravan returns

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 2, 2014

United States Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jerusalem this weekend for his 10th visit to the region since being appointed less than a year ago.

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Tel Aviv averts horror after bomb found

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

A major tragedy was averted last Sunday afternoon when a passenger noted a suspicious bag left in the back of a bus in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.

The bag contained a bomb that went off shortly after the bus was evacuated, lightly wounding one police officer.

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US and UK spying revealed no secrets, claims Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

The revelations in the Guardian and New York Times last Friday that the target list of a joint NSA-GCHQ surveillance operation included Israel’s former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak elicited only a muted response in Jerusalem.

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Calmer horizon for Israel as Middle East burns

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

Nearly three years into the upheaval that began as the “Arab Spring”, and both Egypt and Syria are undergoing turmoil that is unlikely to subside in 2014.

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Fortunes of Bennett and Lapid will define the political game in 2014

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

The year 2013 was the year of the “brothers” in Israeli politics.

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Will 2014 be a year of peace?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2013

At a particularly bleak moment during his umpteenth visit to the region this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted: “We’re not talking at this point about any shifts [in the schedule],” and reiterated his belief that Israel and the Palestinians can still reach a peace agreement by April, at the end of the nine-month time-frame he set for the talks.

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Confusion as Bedouin plan slides off the agenda

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Thursday night to cancel the Prawer-Begin Plan for the Negev Bedouin Settlements left its opponents jubilant — but with no clue about what the replacement could be.

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Al Qaeda and ice create refugee hell in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

As Syria’s civil war drags on towards its fourth year without an end in sight, the plight of over two million refugees has worsened as the region faces its most bitter winter in living memory.

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Isolated Hamas buries the hatchet with Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Hamas announced last week that it was “resuming” its relations with Iran after the Palestinian movement’s position on the Syrian Civil War caused it to fall out with the Assad regime’s main backers.

The announcement was made by senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar in Gaza following talks between Hamas officials and Iranian diplomats in Beirut last month.

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Israel fears sanctions tsunami

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Israeli diplomats are concerned that a large wave of sanctions could hit the country if the current round of talks with the Palestinians fails.

A recent spate of boycott actions in Europe and the US will have a limited effect but Israelis fear that they could be just the beginning.

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Israel storm of the century

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 19, 2013

Weather historians are still arguing whether this was the worst snowstorm to hit Israel in 21, 60, 93 or 140 years, but its results are hard to argue with.

From Thursday afternoon, 48 hours of rain, hail and snow — which in Jerusalem piled up as high as 70cm — paralysed transport around the country.

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Diskin attack on Netanyahu a sign of leadership ambition

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 12, 2013

Former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin emerged last week as a possible future rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he sternly criticised the government’s policy on Iran and the talks with the Palestinians.

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