Anshel Pfeffer

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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Jerusalem violence ebbs

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 4, 2014

Violence in and around Jerusalem has continued over the past week, but at a lower level than the spate of attacks seen in late November.

On Saturday, arsonists, thought to be right-wing vigilantes, burnt two classrooms at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School in south Jerusalem.

The school is the only one in the city where Jews and Arabs learn side-by-side.

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Gantz to step down as IDF gets new chief

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 4, 2014

The cabinet is expected to approve the appointment of Major General Gadi Eisenkot as the next chief of staff of the Israel Defence Force on Sunday.

Maj-Gen Eisenkot, 54, is currently the deputy chief of staff and served most of his 36-year army career as a combat officer in the Golani infantry brigade.

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Does Israel need the nation state law? No

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2014

There has been a lot of wailing and hand-wringing over the "nation-state" bill which the Knesset may or may not be voting on next week.

At the heart of the furore is the claim that if the bill becomes law, it will transform Israeli Arabs into "second-class citizens".

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Palestinians push back UN statehood bid

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2014

The Palestinian Authority is planning to postpone its attempt to secure a UN timetable for the unilateral establishment of a Palestinian state.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Ma'an news agency on Monday that the decision had been delayed due to the difficulty of reaching the necessary majority in the Security Council and American pressure.

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Clash over anti-terror measures

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2014

Israel's political and security establishments are at loggerheads over the best way to confront the recent wave of terror attacks.

As ministers and right-wing politicians have called for more severe measures, the security chiefs have warned that "collective punishment" will not deter further attacks and only serve to further alienate the Palestinian population.

So far, the demands of some po

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ANALYSIS: Hagel disproved doubters on Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2014

In the brief period in which Chuck Hagel served as the United States Secretary of Defence before being forced to resign this week he hardly left his mark on the Pentagon, America's armed services or the regions in which they operate.

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Egyptian president offers peacekeeping force 'for Palestinian state'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 24, 2014

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has expressed a willingness to send Egyptian troops to a future Palestinian state to prevent attacks on Israel.

Mr Sissi was speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of a visit this week to Italy and France.

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Lone, lethal, impossible to predict: a new terror

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2014

Jerusalem is brimming with specially trained anti-terror police. But when a call came in at 7.01 am on Tuesday morning about a terror attack in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighbourhood, the first officers on the scene were a couple of traffic cops.

One of them, Zaidan Saif, was fatally wounded when he tried to confront the murderers, cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal.

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Details of new EU sanctions plan revealed

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2014

The Israeli government is concerned that the European Union might try to convince its member nations to implement sanctions against Israel over building projects beyond the Green Line.

Haaretz this week revealed that possible sanctions appear in a document prepared by the Middle East department of the EU's foreign service.

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Iran deal now within reach, say diplomats

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2014

Negotiators arrived in Vienna on Tuesday for the last round of talks on reaching a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme before next week's deadline.

Foreign ministers of the P5+1 group of world powers are expected to join the talks next week amid conflicting reports on the proximity of a deal.

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Israel fears over EU sanctions plan

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 17, 2014

The Israeli government is concerned that the European Union will try to convince its member to implement sanctions on Israel over building projects in the West Bank.

Possible sanctions appear in a document prepared by the Middle East department of the EU's foreign service, which was revealed in Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

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Threat of intifada as terror hits Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2014

Israel and the West Bank were on a knife edge this week as both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were hit by terror attacks and Palestinian leaders raised the spectre of a third intifada.

Security forces struggled to restore calm as violent demonstrations spread throughout the West Bank and threatened to erupt among Arabs living within the Green Line.

Monday saw two terror attacks on Israelis in what

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Israel fears worst in Iran nuclear talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2014

Israeli leaders remain deeply sceptical of US intentions on the eve of the deadline to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.

Despite repeated US assurances that Iran will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon and reports that no progress was made in the round of talks this week, the current assessment in Jerusalem is that the Obama administration is determined to reach a deal at

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Israel fears US wants Iran nuclear deal at any price

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 11, 2014

Israeli leaders remain deeply sceptical of American intentions on the eve of the crucial stage of talks to reach a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme before the November 24 deadline.

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