Israel News

As UN Push Fizzles, Abbas’ Path Ahead Unclear

Speculation that something dramatic is in the works.
11/07/2011 - 19:00

Jerusalem — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ statehood push at the United Nations may be fizzling, but his supporters insist that he can find a way out of the impasse.

“Abu Mazen is a powerful leader and is very persuasive,” said Ahmad Tibi, an Arab member of Israel’s Knesset, using Abbas’ nom de guerre. “He has managed to convince the majority of the Palestinian people that the way to reach statehood is through nonviolent means.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Fresh Attacks On Abbas Splitting Israeli Gov’t

In wake of UNESCO vote, Lieberman-led criticism is raising questions about where cabinet stands.
10/31/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman last week launched a no-holds-barred attack on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, disparaging him in an unprecedented six-page memo to the diplomatic community as an obstacle to peace and more extreme than his predecessor, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

This week, in the wake of Monday’s vote by the United Nations cultural arm, UNESCO, to grant the Palestinians member-state status, Lieberman stepped up the attack, going as far as to say that Israel should consider severing ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, left, suggested a severing of ties with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Bar-Ilan Opens First Medical School In The Galilee

10/31/2011 - 20:00

Bar-Ilan University opened Israel’s first medical school in the northern region of the country, in Safed, this week. Seen as a national priority, the launch is in response to a nationwide shortage of physicians and the need to upgrade medical services and infrastructure in the north.

It is the first medical school opening in the country in 40 years and, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it is “the only one in Israel which allows those who began their studies abroad to return home to complete them.”

Two youngsters from Safed present the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Forlorn Jerusalem Hilltop Now At Center Of Controversy

Planned housing in Givat Hamatos leads to uncertainty for dozen caravan-dwelling families.
10/31/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — The entrance to the neighborhood of Givat Hamatos isn’t immediately apparent. Accessible only from the winding roads of the Arab community of Beit Safafa next door, or via a sharp right off the five-lane Hebron Road, the eastern Jerusalem hilltop that once hosted caravan housing for immigrant Ethiopians and Russians is now the focus of international controversy.

One of the few mobile homes, or caravans, left in Givat Hamatos. “I don’t know where my parents will go,” says Barak Hasid. JTA

Israeli Right Seizes On Shalit Deal

Calls for release of Jewish prisoners and for the death penalty in wake of prisoner swap.
10/24/2011 - 20:00
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Gilad Shalit is home, but the domestic fallout from Israel’s lopsided prisoner exchange with Hamas may have only just begun. 

Disgust over the release of so many Palestinians with “blood on their hands” has prompted demands for the release of Jewish security prisoners from Israeli jails, and calls for using the country’s death penalty against Arab terrorists.

Israeli cabinet member Yuli Edelstin says “it's time” to consider a sentence reduction for “certain Jewish prisoners.”

Shalit Facing Obstacles On Road To Recovery

Psychological scars likely to linger, psychologists say.
10/24/2011 - 20:00

Gilad Shalit’s release from more than five years of isolated captivity marked the end of a national trauma for Israel, but for the 25-year-old it’s only the beginning of his road to recovery.

While Shalit is suffering from sun deprivation and minor untreated shrapnel wounds, the ailments are likely to heal long before the psychological scars that may be lurking beneath the surface.

Hostages often show symptoms analogous to victims of severe trauma, according to Nancy Zarse, a professor of forensic psychology and an expert on hostage situations.

Gilad Shalit, back home at Mitzpe Hila, may have to deal with symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Prisoner Of The Paparazzi?

With photographers and curiosity-seekers lying in wait, Shalits trying to adjust to new normal.
10/24/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — A week after Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being held in captivity for more than five years in Gaza, things were getting back to normal at the Shalit family home — sort of.

Gilad Shalit, left, riding a bicycle in his northern Israeli town of Mitzpe Hila accompanied by security. Herzl Shapira/Flash 90

Back-Channel Broker On Deal Sees ‘Door Opening’ On Talks

As Shalit walks free, intermediary to Hamas sees glimmer of hope despite ‘complexities.’
10/17/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — Gershon Baskin, the American-Israeli who helped broker the release of Gilad Shalit through his back-channel contacts with Hamas, said he hopes to keep that door open for future peace talks.

“I don’t think these issues can be negotiated in public,” he said. “People need to trust each other and not get bogged down for lack of trust.”

Reunited: Gilad and his father Noam Shalit Tuesday after the IDF soldier was freed. getty images

Murderers’ Row

Who are the terrorists being freed in the Shalit deal?
10/17/2011 - 20:00

GHIn exchange for Gilad Shalit’s release, Israel is freeing 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners.

The first 477, agreed upon with Hamas, were released Tuesday. Most had been serving life sentences for their roles in attacks against Israelis, and they included the organizers or perpetrators of many of the most infamous terrorist attacks against Israelis over the past several decades.

The remaining 550 will be chosen by Israel and released in two months.

The following are some of the more notorious terrorists being let out of prison as part of the deal:

Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails in the exchange for Gilad Shalit arrive at the Rafah crossing point into Gaza.

As Israel Watches, Gilad Shalit Comes Home

‘I’m very emotional, I haven’t seen people in a long time,’ freed soldier says in interview.
10/17/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — It seemed that all of Israel breathed a sigh of relief when Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being transferred from Hamas captivity in Gaza into Egyptian custody.

After more than five years of campaigning for Shalit’s release, and seeing little of him other than the same images again and again, Israelis were eager for the fresh images of Shalit broadcast Tuesday in the hours after his release.

Gilad Shalit Comes Home
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