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Rebecca Harrison

Israel sees Hamas gone from Gaza in months

Israeli leaders vowed on Monday to step up their war against Hamas and predicted the Islamists' grip on the Gaza Strip would end within months. Two days after a rocket wounded an Israeli child in a country grown used to barrages that do little damage, Defence Minister Ehud Barak pledged to step up the military campaign.

Israel believes Iran has restarted nuclear-arms work

Israel said on Tuesday it believed that Iran had restarted its atomic-weapons programme and that a United States-backed campaign to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions must continue despite a US report it had halted the work. ''It is vital to pursue efforts to prevent Iran from developing a capability like this,'' Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters.

Victims sceptical of Middle East peace push

Israeli Yfat Alon and Palestinian Radi Abu Eisha both view themselves as victims of hatred. And both scoff at talk of peace. Alon's mother and niece were killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. Abu Eisha watched his sick brother die when an ambulance was blocked by Israeli soldiers running just the sort of security controls Alon says are vital to prevent more attackers reaching Israel.

Israeli women soldiers recount army trauma in film

One posed for a photo as she scrubbed a Palestinian corpse. Another stripped a man to his underwear and then beat him. A third helped cover up the abuse of a young boy. The six Israeli women who feature in the documentary To See If I'm Smiling each wrestle with memories of their compulsory military service that they would rather erase.

‘Amen’ for Israel, say Christian Zionists

With a skullcap bearing the Star of David and a fervent belief that God gave the Holy Land to the Jews, Paul McCaleb could be mistaken for a Jewish settler. The 73-year-old from Tennessee is actually a born-again Christian, part of a growing group of devout Protestants, who are supporting Israel with their votes and their wallets.

Africans woo US Anglicans in gay row

As an Anglican row over gay clergy deepens, growing numbers of conservative American priests are abandoning the liberal United States church and pledging allegiance to traditionalist African bishops instead. Africans, who take a tough line on homosexuality, are keen to recruit the dissident priests as bishops under their own authority.

SA to build $700-million telecom cable

The South African government plans to build a new -million submarine cable around the west of Africa to boost broadband capacity and cut Internet tariffs in the continent, it said on Tuesday. South Africa's state-owned telecom infrastructure company Infraco said it would split the cable into two parts with one linking South Africa to Brazil and one to London.

Business school teaches township savvy

The first time bank executive Lee Meyer strayed into South Africa's rough Alexandra township, he spent a nervous half hour trying to get out without being attacked by local gangsters. Several years later, apartheid is over, Alexandra is safer, and Meyer is back.

Sangomas help fight HIV

Tryphina Ngwenya slides a pink condom over a wooden stick normally used to conjure up ancestral spirits, unleashing a ripple of laughter among her audience of traditional South African healers. ''You see it's easy -- there's nothing poisonous or dangerous about condoms,'' she told the group of some 80 sangomas -- as traditional healers are locally known .

Telkom CEO quits amid criticism

The chief executive of South Africa's fixed-line phone firm Telkom has quit after 18 months in the job and a chorus of criticism from shareholders and the government, boosting the company's shares. Telkom, which came under fire this week from President Thabo Mbeki for ''profiteering'', said in a statement that Papi Molotsane had quit with immediate effect.

Zimbabwe’s hungry head for South Africa

It's lunchtime at Patel's supermarket in Musina, South Africa, and a steady stream of Zimbabweans are stocking up on supplies for a country in crisis. One of the last shops before South Africa's border with its northern neighbour, Patel's once did a roaring trade selling everything from tomato sauce to pyjamas.

Jo’burg safari offers camping in urban jungle

For most tourists, an African safari means up-close encounters with elephants and lions in the bush. But a group of Dutch and South African artists have pioneered a new kind of wild adventure by inviting guests to camp in the heart of Johannesburg's city centre, where gun crime is rife and thousands of illegal immigrants cram into derelict buildings.

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