Israel freezes plan to send vaccines to foreign allies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plan to ship surplus coronavirus vaccines to a group of allied nations was frozen on Thursday following a legal challenge to the deal, his office announced. It was the latest twist in a saga that has raised questions at home about Netanyahu’s decision-making authority, as well as his move […]

Palestinians slam Israel’s move to send vaccines overseas

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has condemned Israel’s promise to send coronavirus vaccines to far-away countries while ignoring the five-million-strong Palestinian population living kilometres away under its military occupation as an “immoral measure”. On Thursday, Honduras received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from Israel, after Israeli media reported earlier this week the government’s intention to […]

Israel lobbied Biden admin not to lift ICC sanctions: Report

The US and Israel had previously condemned the Hague-based court for opening the door to a probe into alleged Israeli war crimes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged United States President Joe Biden not to lift sanctions imposed on International Criminal Court (ICC) officials by the administration of former President Donald Trump, according to a […]

Killing of Palestinian man by Israel an ‘extrajudicial execution’

The killing of a Palestinian man by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem last year was an “extrajudicial execution”, according to a London-based group specialising in the investigation of violations of human rights. Ahmed Erekat was shot at the Container checkpoint in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank in June 2020 and […]

Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti for president?

Palestinian politician Marwan Barghouti, who is seen as the leader of the First and Second Intifada, is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison. His intention to run for president in the upcoming Palestinian elections has shaken the Palestinian political scene. If he runs and wins, as recent polls have suggested he might, his victory could reshape […]

Gaza starts COVID-19 inoculation drive amid vaccine shortage

Officials and health workers inoculated with Russian Sputnik V vaccine donated by Moscow and the UAE. The inoculation campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip has kicked off after the arrival of vaccines donated by Russia and the United Arab Emirates. On Monday, officials and health workers received the first shots of 22,000 Russian Sputnik V […]

Israel’s coronavirus vaccines wielding political power

Forget about oil and arms. Coronavirus vaccines are emerging as the newest currency of choice in the Middle East. Israel’s reopening of its economy, combined with a murky prisoner swap with Syria and the arrival of a batch of vaccines in the Gaza Strip, have all underscored how those with access to the vaccines have […]

Palestinian vaccine drive faces funding shortfall: World Bank

Bank urges Israel, which has made the most progress globally on vaccination, to donate its urplus shots. The Palestinians’ COVID-19 vaccination plan faces a $30m-funding shortfall, even after factoring in support from a global vaccine scheme for poorer economies, the World Bank said in a report on Monday. Israel, a world leader in terms of […]

Israel shuts Mediterranean shore after oil spill devastates coast

Activists began reporting globs of black tar on Israel’s coast last week after a heavy storm, wreaking havoc on local wildlife. Israel closed all its Mediterranean beaches until further notice on Sunday, days after an offshore oil spill deposited tonnes of tar across more than 160km (100 miles) of coastline in what officials are calling […]

Israel starts reopening as number of vaccinations nears 50%

Shops are open to all but leisure centres limited to those inoculated or immune showing a ‘Green Pass’ app. People in Israel are one step closer to returning to normalcy as the country’s economy began reopening after almost half the population received coronavirus vaccine shots. Swathes of the country opened for business on Sunday with […]

Israel Secretly Agrees to Fund Vaccines for Syria as Part of Prisoner Swap

JERUSALEM — When a young Israeli woman was released from detention in Syria this week, after having been arrested for crossing illegally into Syria, the official story was that she had been the beneficiary of a straightforward prisoner swap. In return for her freedom, the Israeli government announced, she had been exchanged for two Syrian […]

Israel paying millions to supply COVID-19 doses to Syria

Palestinians will likely chafe at the fact that Israel is aiding millions of Syrians while they continue to wait for their own supply of the Russian Sputnik vaccine. Israeli media report the Syrian prisoner exchange negotiated by Russia, which included the repatriation of an Israeli woman who crossed the Golan frontier into Syria, in return […]

Israel and Syria conclude Russia-mediated prisoners swap

Israeli woman freed by Syria while Israel returned two shepherds to the Syria-controlled side of the Golan Heights. Syria released an Israeli woman after Israel returned two shepherds to the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan Heights amid a Russian-mediated prisoner swap. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, had crossed the border into Syria […]

Israeli study finds Pfizer vaccine 85% effective after first shot

Researchers say a longer follow-up is required to understand the effect of one shot to inform second dose delay policy. A new study on healthcare workers in Israel has found that one shot of a two-dose vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech is 85 percent effective, heightening the debate over the possibility of spacing out doses. The […]

Israel and Syria Complete a Prisoner Swap, Mediated by Russia

JERUSALEM — Israel and Syria have fought several wars, never had diplomatic relations, and still contest the sovereignty of a tract of land, the Golan Heights, that was seized by Israel from Syria in 1967. But on Thursday, the two countries shared a rare moment of indirect cooperation, participating in a Russian-mediated prisoner swap that […]

As Israel Reopens, ‘Whoever Does Not Get Vaccinated Will Be Left Behind’

BAT YAM, Israel — Israel has raced ahead with the fastest Covid vaccination campaign in the world, inoculating nearly half its population with at least one dose. Now, the rapid rollout is turning the country into a live laboratory for setting the rules in a vaccinated society — raising thorny questions about rights, obligations and […]

In Pictures: Jerusalem turns white after rare snowfall

Jerusalem woke up to the rare experience of seeing its holy sites covered in snow on Thursday, with the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall under a layer of white after an overnight snowstorm. Before dawn children were up hurling snowballs at each other outside the Old City gates, as the faithful trudged […]

Biden and Netanyahu have first call after delay

US president and Israeli PM discussed regional issues, including Iran and recent diplomatic normalisation deals. Joe Biden had his first official phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House confirmed on Wednesday after questions swirled over whether the United States president was trying to send a message to the Israeli prime minister by delaying the […]

Prisoner exchange between Israel and Syria underway: State media

Two Syrians should be released in return for a young Israeli woman in swap mediated by Russia. A prisoner swap between Syria and Israel, mediated by Russia, is under way. Damascus is securing the release of two Syrians held in Israel in exchange for releasing an Israeli woman who entered Syria by mistake, Syria’s official […]

First COVID-19 vaccines enter Gaza after Israel hold up

2,000 coronavirus vaccine doses donated by Russia entered besieged Gaza on Wednesday after being blocked by Israel. A shipment of 2,000 coronavirus vaccine doses donated by Russia entered the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday after Israel blocked it earlier this week. Palestinian and Israeli officials said the shipment, sent by the Palestinian Authority (PA) from […]

The path to peace in Israel-Palestine is through decolonisation

On January 26, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on his Twitter account a Likud election video in which a map of the entire territory of historical Palestine appears under the words “one state”. This was not the first time that a prominent Israeli politician has publicly expressed his dedication to the vision of Greater […]

Israel may not be part of strategy if US returns to nuclear deal

Envoy to US says return to Iran accord could prohibit future US-Israeli strategy towards Tehran’s nuclear programme. Israel’s ambassador to the United States has suggested his country would not engage with President Joe Biden on strategy towards Iran’s nuclear programme if the US returns to the 2015 nuclear deal. Biden has made returning to the […]

Israel blocks shipment of Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Gaza

Israel has stopped 1,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine that are intended for front-line medical workers from entering the besieged Gaza Strip. Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila said in a statement on Monday that Israel bore “full responsibility” for blocking the shipment acquired by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which governs parts of the […]

Nobel Peace Prize 2021: The case against Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner, former White House adviser and prized son-in-law of Twitter ban victim and ex-US President Donald Trump, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz. The nomination is based on Kushner’s role in negotiating last year the “Abraham Accords”, the normalisation deals between Israel and the […]