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  • Ice begins to melt between Israel and Muslim nations

    JERUSALEM, Oct. 27 (JTA) — Israel’s new relations with Mauritania illustrates the progress the Jewish state is making in establishing diplomatic ties with Arab and Muslim nations. Located in northwest Africa, Mauritania is an Islamic country and a member of the Arab League. Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy planned to be in Washington for Thursday’s…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Palestinians with ‘blood on hands’ are bargaining chips in negoti

    JERUSALEM, Sept. 1 (JTA) — How many Palestinian security prisoners should be freed from jail became the make-or-break issue as Israeli and Palestinian leaders feverishly tried to work out a deal this week. It’s a touchy issue for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who does not want to be seen as having negotiated the release…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Israel, Jewish groups help prepare Turkey’s homeless for coming winter

    ADAPAZARI, Turkey, Aug. 30 (JTA) — A middle-aged man climbed up to the cabin of a crane and drew the operator’s attention to a small suitcase on top of a pile of rubble left by this month’s earthquake. “Can you get it for me?” he pleaded, “Please, it’s very important.” The huge arm of the…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Palestinians with ‘blood on hands’ are bargaining chips in negoti

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 23 (JTA) — For five years, Ahmad Soub-Laban sat in Israeli jails. Soub-Laban had killed a neighbor he suspected of having collaborated with the Israelis and thrown gasoline bombs at Israeli policemen. Even now, he doesn’t regret a thing. “It was all in the service of our people,” said Soub-Laban, 28, now chairman…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Battle for Jerusalem fought slowly on ground before final-status talks

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 16 (JTA) — Tensions ran high here last Friday. According to Israeli intelligence reports, radical Muslims intended to stir up trouble during their noon prayers following an Israeli decision to seal off a window the Palestinians had carved out in the southern wall of the Old City. Police did not take any chances….

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Palestinian hard-liners suddenly find it easier to shake Arafat’s hand

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (JTA) — Israeli hard-liners opposed to trading land for peace with the Palestinians are not the only ones who suffered a major setback as a result of Israel”s recent elections. Palestinian radical groups based in Damascus are also fearing they may become sidelined if the hopes for peace that accompanied Israeli Prime…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Asylum seekers sit in Israeli prison, with no nation willing to claim them

    JERUSALEM, Aug. 2 (JTA) — When Ahmad left Baghdad more than six years ago, he says he expected freedom from an oppressive Iraqi regime. Instead, he found imprisonment for more than five years in an Israeli jail. Zuheir says when he left Tehran more than four years ago, all he wanted was to escape from…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES War refugees return to Kosovo, leave behind love for Israeli hosts

    () JERUSALEM, July 27 (JTA) — Never in his wildest dreams did Astrid Kuci believe that he would fall in love with Israel. In fact, he hardly knew anything about Israel. “I used to know that you are a country in the Middle East which is constantly in a state of war with its neighbors….

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Moroccan Israelis join their former countrymen in mourning King Hassan

    JERUSALEM, July 25 (JTA) — The death of Morocco’s King Hassan II made tens of thousands of Israelis mourn for the man they consider “their” king — and homesick for the land their families left. Young Israelis of Moroccan origin placed the Moroccan flag on top of their cars, while others displayed huge posters in…

  • FOCUS ON ISSUES 900 years later, Arab memories of Crusades shape view of Zionism

    JERUSALEM, July 19 (JTA) — It was just another day in Jerusalem’s Old City, with tourists wending their way among Arab shops as they sought out one historic site after another. But whether at the Tower of David or on the Via Dolorosa, few people realized that July 15 marked a historic anniversary: On that…