Jeffrey's Feed
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.”

Oct 11, 2011

Israel, Hamas agree on prisoner swap to free Shalit

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Israel and Gaza’s Hamas Islamist rulers agreed on Tuesday to swap more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit, resolving one of the most emotive and intractable issues between them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking his cabinet to approve the lopsided swap and under constant public pressure to bring Shalit home, said the soldier would be reunited with his family “in the coming days.”

Oct 2, 2011

Israel accepts Quartet call for peace talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel accepted on Sunday a call by international mediators to resume peace talks with the Palestinians, who quickly reaffirmed their refusal to negotiate until settlement-building stops on land they seek for state.

“Israel welcomes the Quartet call for direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions,” the statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

Sep 14, 2011

U.S., Europe in Mideast peace push before U.N. showdown

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. envoys raced on Wednesday to try to revive Middle East peace talks and avert a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership, but a U.N. official said it was probably too late to stop the move opposed by Israel and the United States.

U.S. Middle East peace envoy David Hale and senior White House aide Dennis Ross, who met both sides last week, planned to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.

Sep 14, 2011

Europe, U.S. in Mideast peace push before U.N. showdown

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. envoys raced on Wednesday to try to revive Middle East peace talks and avert a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership, but a U.N. official said it was probably too late to stop the move opposed by Israel and the United States.

U.S. Middle East peace envoy David Hale and senior White House aide Dennis Ross, who met both sides last week, planned to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.

Sep 11, 2011

Netanyahu says Egypt committed to peace

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced confidence on Sunday in Egypt’s commitment to peace with Israel after the ransacking of its Cairo embassy shook the shifting foundations of a brittle relationship with its first Muslim ally.

The outpouring of public hostility toward Israel in demonstrations on Saturday forced the evacuation of its ambassador from Egypt on Saturday and strained ties between two countries locked in what Israelis have long described as a “cold peace.”

Sep 5, 2011

Tourists feel the heat of tense Israeli-Turkish ties

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli passengers said they were segregated and searched at Istanbul airport on Monday and Turkish tourists made similar complaints about treatment in Israel, accounts that further stoked a heated feud between the two countries.

Three days after Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador over Israel’s refusal to apologize for a raid that killed nine Turks on a ship trying to break its blockade of Gaza in 2010, visitors from both countries were feeling unwelcome.

Sep 4, 2011

Historic rally buoys Israeli social protest movement

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Organisers of Israel’s biggest rally for economic reform said on Sunday they will begin to fold their tents but social change will move on, driven by weeks of protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responding to the latest massive demonstrations by a disgruntled middle class in the country’s business center, Tel Aviv, and other cities, stuck fast to his pledge to implement change but not at all costs.

Aug 24, 2011

Glenn Beck rallies for Israel near Jerusalem holy sites

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – On the fringes of Jerusalem’s most volatile holy sites, conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck declared his support for Israel Wednesday at a rally showcasing fundamentalist Christian backing for the Jewish state.

Beck’s “Restoring Courage” event, in an archaeological park Israel has built in an area of Jerusalem it captured in a 1967 war, has stirred little interest among most Israelis, who are unfamiliar with the controversial right-wing commentator who is an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama.

Aug 18, 2011

Gunmen kill six in Israel in attack near Egypt border

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – At least six people were killed in attacks by gunmen on Israeli vehicles near the frontier with Egypt’s Sinai desert on Thursday, raising concerns in Israel over heightened militant activity along the porous border.

“It was a grave terrorist incident that took place in several locations,” Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement. “It reflects the weakening of Egypt’s hold in the Sinai and the broadening of activities by terror elements.”

    • 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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