Anshel Pfeffer

Nearly £2bn of EU aid for Palestinians ‘misused’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2013

Most of the nearly £2bn in aid that the EU has given the Palestinian Authority over the past five years has been squandered through corruption and mismanagement.

The figures appeared in a preliminary report prepared by European Court of Auditors and leaked to the Sunday Times.

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Knesset sits down for a stormy winter session

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2013

The long winter session of the Knesset began this week with a feeling of trepidation within the ruling Likud party on two accounts.

The first is the lingering suspicion of many MKs that a peace treaty with the Palestinians is being hatched behind their backs. They were not reassured by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu’s hawkish speech last week at Bar-Ilan University.

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Iran talks leave Israel on edge

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2013

The discussions, which were described by EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton as “detailed” and “substantive”, revolved mainly around a new Iranian proposal which one Western diplomat called “very helpful”.

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Syria chemical weapons deadline not feasible, says OPCW scientific adviser

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2013

EXCLUSIVE

A senior adviser to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which last week won the Nobel Peace Prize, has said that the Russian and US-imposed deadline of a year for Syrian chemical disarmament will not be met.

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Gaza tunnel was for high-profile attack

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 16, 2013

A tunnel leading from under the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, discovered by the IDF last week, was to be used at a future date by Hamas to carry out a terror attack or kidnapping.

The exit point of the 1,800m tunnel is near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.

According to Israeli intelligence, it was almost certainly excavated by Hamas and took over 18 months to complete.

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Hamas tunnel: a key element in its new strategy

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2013

A 1,800m tunnel leading from under the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, discovered by the IDF last week, was to be used at a future date by Hamas to carry out a terror attack or kidnapping.

The last 300m of the tunnel end near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. According to Israeli intelligence, it was almost certainly excavated by Hamas and took over 18 months, ending this June, to build.

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Israeli? There’s no such nationality

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 11, 2013

Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected a petition by a group of Israelis who requested that their nationality clause in the national population records be changed from “Jewish” to “Israeli.”

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Israel doesn’t need Beersheva-Eilat railway but Chinese spooks might

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 11, 2013

The security concerns raised in recent days by former intelligence chiefs over the possibility that a Chinese company may build the new Beersheva-Eilat railway is only one of the question-marks over the massive infrastructure project.

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Netanyahu’s new ‘big’ Bar Ilan speech reassures Likud hawks

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regretted agreeing to address the Bar-Ilan conference on Sunday, almost as soon as the university’s publicists began talking up the “big” speech.

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When it comes to Iran, facts get a rough ride

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2013

In the delicate diplomatic game going on between Washington, Jerusalem and Tehran, both in plain sight and beneath the radar, facts and official statements are important but the interpretation of those facts are of equal importance.

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‘Hizbollah has chemical capability’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2013

As Syria appears to be about to lose its strategic arsenal, Hizbollah has been trying, at least rhetorically, to resurrect the threat against Israel.

In an interview with Saudi newspaper Al Watan on Sunday, Khaled al-Dhaher, a Lebanese MP, warned that Hizbollah has 200,000 missiles near the Syrian border, some of which can be equipped with chemical warheads.

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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's death is political depth charge

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2013

As he did during his lifetime, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who passed away on Monday, will continue to unite the party he served as spiritual leader. For a while, at least.

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Tensions at top over ambitious Beersheva-EIlat Railway project

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2013

Last Sunday in Jerusalem, a ministerial committee authorised the construction of a 260km-long, fast railway line from Beersheva to Eilat.

The line will be the first high-speed track in Israel and is designed to cut the travel time from Tel Aviv to Eilat to two hours, as well as provide a cargo route that could become an alternative to the Suez Canal.

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Shas battles over Yosef successor

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2013

The deterioration in the health of 93-year-old Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has thrown his party, Shas, into a battle over who will succeed the spiritual leader.

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‘Hamas used Chinese bank to pay families of terrorists’

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2013

A hamas scheme to launder money in Chinese bank accounts has been revealed in an ongoing court case in the US.

The allegations emerged in a suit being brought against the Bank of China by the family of Daniel Weltz, a 16-year-old American killed in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in April 2006.

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Saudis and Bahrain ‘more worried than Israel’ about Obama’s Iran diplomacy

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2013

The beginning of a thaw in relations between Iran and the West is not only worrying Israel, it is also a matter of concern for Iran’s Arab neighbours.

Both Israel and several Gulf states are concerned that sanctions may be lifted without receiving clear and verifiable assurances that Iran is no longer pursuing nuclear weapons.

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With a smile, Rouhani has forced an Israeli strike off the table

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 3, 2013

The past two weeks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York have been a carefully choreographed dance between three performers.

In the first act, the American and Iranian presidents both set out the very basic parameters of a potential agreement on Iran’s nuclear pr+ogramme and warily made their first contact.

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Shas squabbles over successor to Ovadia Yosef

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2013

The deterioration in the health of 93-year-old Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has thrown his party, Shas, into a battle over who will succeed the spiritual leader.

Hospitalised at Hadasa Medical Centre for over two weeks now due to a blood pressure problem, doctors had to put the rabbi into a coma after his kidney and heart showed signs of failing.

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Assad will remain for years says senior member of IDF

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2013

A senior member of the IDF has argued that Syrian President Bashar al Assad is unlikely to be ousted any time soon.

In an interview last week with Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Major-General Yair Golan, head of the IDF’s Northern Command, predicted that “he will remain for years. I don’t see a force that can topple him tomorrow morning”.

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Syria's Assad will remain for years

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 24, 2013

A senior member of the IDF has argued that Syrian President Bashar al Assad is unlikely to be ousted any time soon.

In an interview last week with Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Major-General Yair Golan, head of the IDF’s Northern Command, predicted that “he will remain for years. I don’t see a force that can topple him tomorrow morning”.

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