Anshel Pfeffer

Iran reprises military deal with Hamas

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2014

Iran’s military ties with Hamas, cut off temporarily in the wake of the Syrian civil war, have been resumed.
Iranian arms shipments to Hamas were in evidence two weeks ago when the terrorist movement exhibited Iran-built Ababil drones in a parade in Gaza.

These drones have been seen in the possession of Hizbollah and have been used against rebels by the Assad regime in Syria.

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Islamic State spotted on Israel-Syria border

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2014

V The presence of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Israel’s northern border has been growing in recent weeks, as three groups of Syrian rebels, operating in the south of the country and on the Golan Heights have declared their allegiance to ISIS.

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America looking to push back UN vote on Palestine

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2014

The United States is trying to postpone a vote at the UN Security Council on a Palestinian resolution to set a deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state until after the Israeli elections in March.

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The question for 2015: will Bibi survive?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 23, 2014

This is already shaping up to be one of the most acrimonious of all Israeli election campaigns.

Likud and Habayit Hayehudi this week accused former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of interfering with Israel’s diplomatic affairs in order to further her own political interests.

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Fury as EU court removes Hamas from terror list

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

The "technical" decision of the European Union's General Court to remove Hamas from the EU's list of terror organisations has drawn an indignant response from Israeli leaders, despite senior EU officials insisting the step is temporary.

The court accepted the argument of lawyers representing Hamas that an organisation can only be listed as a terror group on the basis of official EU sources and

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Abbas looks to France for help at UN

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

The Palestinian Authority is planning to cooperate with the French government in its bid to secure UN recognition for a Palestinian state.

The PA has been lobbying the Security Council to vote for its proposal to impose a two-year deadline on establishing a state.

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Israeli police crack down on anti-Arab group

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

Israeli police have cracked down on the "anti-assimilation" group Lehava after three of its members were arrested on suspicion of carrying out the arson attack on the Jewish-Arab Billingual School in Jerusalem three weeks ago. On Tuesday morning, Lehava leader Benzi Gupstein was arrested, along with nine other members of the group.

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Violence goes on but no 'wave'

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

The death of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein following a violent altercation with Israeli border police last Wednesday did not result in a wave of rioting as some had feared.

Sporadic attacks continued, however. On Friday, a member of Islamic Jihad carried out an acid attack against Israelis who had stopped their car to collect a passenger south of Jerusalem.

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Could Herzog haul Labour back to top?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

Israel's Labour Party has rarely seen such a demonstration of unity in recent years.

For an hour on Sunday evening, those sitting on the party's central committee hid their reservations over the agreement party leader Yitzhak Herzog had reached with former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

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Split may decimate Shas

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

Shas is facing its biggest crisis since the Sephardi-Charedi party first ran for Knesset 30 years ago.

Scarcely a year after its founder and spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, passed away, an irrevocable rift at the top of the party has meant that in the next elections there will be two parties claiming the mantle of the late rabbi.

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Hamas shows off refreshed rocket arsenal

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2014

Hamas celebrated its 27th anniversary on Sunday with a military parade in Gaza in which it exhibited rockets and Iranian-built drones.

In recent weeks, the Islamist movement has resumed test launches of missiles designed to be fired at civilian targets in Israel.

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Death of PA minister sparks chaos fears

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

Security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remains in the balance in the wake of the death of a Palestinian minister following an altercation with Israeli police.

Ziad Abu Ein, 55, who had been put in charge of issues related to settlements and the separation barrier by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, had been leading a demonstration against the settler outpost of A

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West inches towards confrontation over lack of progress on two states

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

There is concern in the Israeli government that the US, the UK, France and Germany are planning fresh diplomatic initiatives and punitive measures in response to continued settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Among the plans being mulled is a joint European proposal for the United Nations to set a clear deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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Israel passes controversial law on illegal migrants

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

In its last session before dissolving itself this week, the Knesset passed a new version of the "infiltrators law", which has twice been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The new law, which will allow for the Holot detention centre to remain open, was pushed through the Knesset at the last moment with a 47-23 majority, even though some Labour members claimed later they voted "for" by

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Power couple who may yet lead Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

On Monday night, the Knesset overwhelmingly voted to dissolve itself, putting paid to the theories of a last-minute, alternative coalition.

Elections on March 17, 2015 are now unavoidable, and the next few weeks will be focused on primaries, alliance-building and selecting candidates as each party scrambles to build a list it hopes will be attractive to the Israeli voters.

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Iran drones smashed in Syria air strike

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

On Sunday, fighter jets attacked two depots near the Syrian capital of Damascus that were being used to store arms destined for Hizbollah.

The Syrian government blamed Israel for carrying out the attack while Israel, as in previous cases, refused to comment.

The two targets for the strike were buildings near Damascus International Airport and a military base close to the Syria-Lebanon border

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Negev oil river is 'eco-disaster'

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2014

An oil spill from the Trans-Israel pipeline in the Evrona nature reserve north of Eilat is causing what has been described as one of the worst ecological disasters in Israel's history.

The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) acknowledged on Monday that the spill was much larger than previously thought and about 5 million litres of crude had gushed out in the desert.

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Obama’s nominee for defence chief ‘tough on Iran, friendly to Israel’

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 9, 2014

Two years ago, when the United States Senate held its confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defence, a pitched battle ensued on Chuck Hagel’s suitability for the post, largely due to his previously critical statements on Israel and a perceived “softness” towards Iran.

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Syria blames Israel for daylight strike on arms depots

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 8, 2014

On Sunday, fighter jets attacked two depots near the Syrian capital of Damascus that were being used to store arms destined for Hizbollah.

The Syrian government blamed Israel for carrying out the attack while Israel, as in previous cases, refused to comment.

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Epic rift sends Israel to polls

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 4, 2014

Israel was set on the path to early elections this week after relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of the two centrist parties in his coalition, Yesh Atid and Hatnuah, collapsed amid a storm of recrimination.

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