January 1, 2013
Israel eases Gaza curbs JERUSALEM - In a major concession to Gaza's Hamas leaders Monday, Israel dropped its five-year ban on construction materials crossing into the territory and raised hopes there that rebuilding could begin following a damaging eight-day Israeli air campaign. The easing of restrictions is an outgrowth of the cease-fire that ended the air strikes and months of daily rocket fire from Gaza at Israel. Contacts mediated by Egypt to follow up the truce produced the concession, and Israel promised to keep easing the lives of Gaza's 1.6 million residents, as long as Israelis were no longer targeted by rocket fire by Gaza militants.
December 24, 2012 |
Just a rocket's throw from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli desert town of Netivot has struggled for years with economic-development and safety concerns when missiles fall. Since 1997, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, under a program of U.S.-Israel community partnerships, has donated about $500,000 a year to the city of 30,000. A new link in that partnership - to be highlighted on Monday at a conference in Netivot - compounds traditional checkbook charity with innovative venture philanthropy.
December 21, 2012
Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, 68, a former chief of staff of the Israeli military and a cabinet minister who was involved in peace talks with the Palestinians, died Wednesday in Jerusalem. His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman at the Hadassah Medical Center in southwest Jerusalem, where he had been treated for cancer. In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Mr. Lipkin-Shahak "an Israeli hero who dedicated his best years to the security of the state of Israel. " He was deputy chief of staff and chief of staff during the years before and after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords, the first peace agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
December 14, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israel's powerful foreign minister was charged Thursday with breach of trust for actions that allegedly compromised a criminal investigation into his business dealings, throwing the country's election campaign into disarray just weeks before the vote. While Avigdor Lieberman was cleared of more serious allegations, the indictment sparked calls for the controversial politician to step down. He declined to do so at a news conference but said he would consult with his lawyers on what to do next.
December 11, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - The rising confidence and bellicosity of Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, combined with rapidly deteriorating relations with Israel's would-be peace partner in the West Bank, are raising jitters in Israel that a new Palestinian uprising could be near. A number of prominent voices urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to take steps to ease the tensions and bolster the Western-backed Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu's political rival, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, warned that renewed violence might not be "far off. " But the Israeli leader stood tough.
November 27, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly quit politics Monday, potentially robbing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a key ally who enabled his hard-line government to present a moderate face to the world. Barring another comeback by the mercurial former general, Barak's departure marked an end to a distinguished and tumultuous career that spanned half a century. It began on a communal farm, led to military greatness and business success and a mixed record in politics that was highlighted by failed peacemaking efforts during a brief term as prime minister.
November 26, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Lebanon's Hezbollah would fire thousands of rockets into Israel in any future war and target cities in the country's heartland, the group's leader said Sunday. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's warning came days after an eight-day Israeli offensive against Gaza ended with a truce. Nasrallah said Gaza militants had won "a clear victory" against Israel with their rocket bombardment. Hezbollah, like Hamas and other Gaza militant factions, maintains a rocket arsenal and regularly threatens to use it. It fought an inconclusive 34-day war with Israel in 2006 that left 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead.
November 24, 2012 |
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli troops fired on Gazans surging toward Israel's border fence Friday, killing one person but leaving intact the two-day-old cease-fire between Hamas and the Jewish state. The truce, which calls for an end to Gaza rocket fire on Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza, came after eight days of cross-border fighting, the bloodiest between Israel and Hamas in four years. Hundreds of Palestinians approached the border fence Friday in several locations in southern Gaza, testing expectations that Israel would no longer enforce a 300-yard-wide no-go zone on the Palestinian side of the fence that was meant to prevent infiltrations into Israel.
November 23, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli authorities arrested an Arab Israeli on Thursday on accusations that he planted a bomb on a bus in Tel Aviv that wounded 27 people and threatened to sabotage efforts to broker a cease-fire to end the fighting in Gaza, police said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that the man, from the village of Taybeh, in Israel, was connected to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups. A Palestinian militant cell based in the West Bank village of Beit Lakiya sent the man on Wednesday to place a bomb connected to a mobile phone on the bus, Rosenfeld said.
November 23, 2012
By Daoud Kuttab For years, Israelis have embraced a theory of "deterrence" with respect to the Gaza Strip. The idea is that if Gazans feel enough pain, they will refrain from attacking Israel. But this kind of strategic deterrence simply doesn't work. Instead, Gazans react to the huge suffering inflicted by Israel with a greater determination to inflict pain on their attackers. Furthermore, deterrence without any possibility of a political settlement ensures that this madness will go on indefinitely.