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Nov 14, 2011

Israeli generals fight gender segregation in ranks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s military must not give in to Jewish religious demands to prevent the mixing of men and women in the ranks, a group of reservist generals told the country’s defence minister on Monday.

The 19 generals, among them former army, air force and navy commanders, listed times when they said women had been sidelined or segregated during military events because of pressure from male Orthodox soldiers.

Nov 9, 2011

Israel calls for international action on Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday called on the world to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, after the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Tehran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and may still be conducting secret research.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, confirmed long-standing concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Nov 9, 2011

Israel awaits international action on Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel held back a response on Wednesday to U.N. findings that Iran appears to have worked on designing an atomic bomb, first evaluating the international impact of a report it has said should trigger “lethal sanctions” against Tehran.

Government sources said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered cabinet ministers not to speak out about the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) document, a sign he may prefer — for now — to let world powers take the lead in charting moves to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Nov 8, 2011

Israel’s Barak plays down talk of war with Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Defense Minister Ehud Barak played down on Tuesday speculation that Israel intends to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, saying no decision had been made on embarking on a military operation.

“War is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don’t want a war,” Barak told Israel Radio before the release this week of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear activity.

Nov 8, 2011

Israel’s Barak dismisses talk of attacking Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Defense Minister Ehud Barak played down on Tuesday speculation that Israel intended to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, saying it had not decided to embark on any military operation.

“War is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don’t want a war,” Barak told Israel Radio before the release this week of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear activity.

Oct 27, 2011

Israel and Egypt carry out U.S.-brokered prisoner swap

JERUSALEM/TABA, Egypt (Reuters) – Egypt released an American-Israeli it held as an alleged spy and Israel freed 25 Egyptians in a prisoner swap on Thursday that will ease strains between Cairo’s new rulers and the United States and Israel.

Ilan Grapel, 27, flew to Israel accompanied by two Israeli envoys sent by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he was due to meet later in the day. Smiling, he embraced his mother who waited on the tarmac at Tel Aviv airport.

Oct 19, 2011

Israeli soldier, Palestinians freed in captive swap

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel’s borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner swap brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict.

In one of the biggest ever such exchanges between the two sides, a pale and gaunt Sergeant Shalit was flown to his parents’ home in northern Israel after more than five years held incommunicado by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, while a first 477 of over 1,000 Palestinians to be released under the bargain left Israeli jails for Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

Oct 19, 2011

Israeli soldier Shalit, Palestinians freed in captive swap

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel’s borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner swap brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict.

In one of the biggest ever such exchanges between the two sides, a pale and gaunt Sergeant Shalit was flown to his parents’ home in northern Israel after more than five years held incommunicado by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, while a first 477 of over 1,000 Palestinians to be released under the bargain left Israeli jails for Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

Oct 18, 2011

Israeli soldier Shalit freed in mass prisoner swap

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released to a national outpouring of joy on Tuesday after five years in captivity, exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in a deal with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Shalit, 25, was taken across the frontier from the Gaza Strip into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and driven to Israel’s Vineyard of Peace border crossing, where a helicopter awaited to fly him to an Israeli air base for a reunion with his parents.

Oct 12, 2011

Shy Shalit a haunting symbol for Israelis

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A five-line biography on the website of the public campaign for his freedom sums up the life of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Palestinian militants at the age of 19 and due to be released in a prisoner swap.

“Gilad Shalit, a son to Noam and Aviva and a brother to Yoel and Haddas, was born in Nahariya on 28 August 1986. When he was two years old, his family moved to Mitzpe Hila in the western Galilee. Gilad studied at Maona elementary school and middle school at Kfar Vradim. He studied at Manor-Kavri high school and excelled in science. In 2005, Gilad enlisted in the tank corps and served in Battalion 71 of the 188th Regiment.”

    • About Jeffrey

      "Heller joined Reuters from United Press International in Tel Aviv in 1984 and transferred to London in 1987. He returned to the Middle East in 1992 as a senior sub-editor on the Middle East and Africa desk before taking up a post as correspondent, Jerusalem a year later. He is currently editor-in-charge in the Jerusalem bureau."
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