Ofer Shelah; With Reporting by Ha’aretz.

Behind Tough Talk, Israel Torn on Hamas

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, visiting Cairo this week, refused to confirm or deny a controversial New York Times report that the United States and Israel were discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government and force new elections. “Stories break every morning,” Mofaz told reporters after his February 14 meeting with

Tale of Computer Espionage Rocks Highest Echelons of Israeli Business

TEL AVIV — In an unusual departure, Israel’s headlines and public conversations this week were dominated not by diplomatic, political or military news but by a business scandal. However, it was not just an ordinary scandal: With close to a dozen of the country’s most distinguished business executives called in for investigation so far, the

Sharon Faces Problems at Home After Triumph of Egypt Summit

TEL AVIV — Fresh from his triumphant summit meeting with Arab leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, Prime Minister Sharon promptly ran into new political trouble this week when one of his top aides formed a tactical alliance with his right-wing opponents, threatening to undermine the prime minister’s do-or-die Gaza disengagement plan.The

Young Guard Vies for Power As Gaza Explodes in Violence

TEL AVIV — As Gaza teetered on the brink of chaos this week, with signs that the West Bank might follow, Israelis were anxiously peering through the fog to try and understand what lay ahead in the territory from which Israel has vowed to withdraw in the coming months.Gaza erupted into violence last Friday, beginning with a series

Israelis Watch Nervously as Court Weighs Case on Security Fence

TEL AVIV — Officially Israel considered the hearings on its security fence, held this week at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, to be virtually meaningless. Jerusalem declined to appear before the court, instead submitting a preliminary affidavit questioning the court’s jurisdiction in the