Daniel Estrin

JERUSALEM — Matthias Schmale was the highest-ranking international representative based in the Gaza Strip before his tenure ended with a jolt.

During the 11-day conflict this May between Gaza militants and Israel, Israeli warplanes bombed the roads surrounding his United Nations relief agency headquarters, targeting alleged underground militant tunnels, and sending part of a car flying into the courtyard of the U.N. compound.

JERUSALEM — An ongoing dispute over six Palestinian activist groups that Israel accuses of terrorism took a turn this week into the cloak-and-dagger world of Israeli spyware.

Near a soccer pitch and a suburban neighborhood in central Israel, archaeologists say they discovered the world's largest known Byzantine-era winery.

The winery, dating back 1,500 years, is believed to have produced one of the finest white wines of the Mediterranean at the time. It was widely praised in Byzantine-era literature and known as vinum Gazetum or Gaza wine because it was exported from the ancient port city near modern-day Gaza.

Updated August 25, 2021 at 8:03 PM ET

JERUSALEM — Israel takes enormous pride in its high-tech industry. But one of its star cybersecurity companies, NSO Group, is at the center of an international spying scandal that has concerned U.S. officials, and the Israeli government plays a role.

Israel's new prime minister has arrived in Washington with a monumental task on his shoulders: to clear the air after years of stormy relations between his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Democratic leadership.

Israel was the first country on Earth to fully vaccinate a majority of its citizens against COVID-19. Now it has one of the world's highest daily infection rates — an average of nearly 7,500 confirmed cases a day, double what it was two weeks ago. Nearly one in every 150 people in Israel today has the virus.

What happened, and what can be learned about the vaccine's impact on a highly vaccinated country? Here are six lessons learned — and one looming question for the future of the pandemic.

JERUSALEM — Israeli spyware company NSO Group has temporarily blocked several government clients around the world from using its technology as the company investigates their possible misuse, a company employee told NPR on Thursday.

Ben & Jerry's said it will stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, calling it "inconsistent with our values." The company did not say when it would halt sales, but its sole local Israeli manufacturer vowed to continue selling as usual until its license expires at the end of 2022.

Updated June 3, 2021 at 4:21 PM ET

He's the son of American immigrants who became a self-made tech millionaire before entering the rough-and-tumble world of Israeli politics.

After 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas, a cease-fire went into effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday. Gaza health officials say at least 240 people were killed there by waves of airstrikes from Israel. Twelve people died in Israel from more than 4,000 rockets fired by militants in Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

Friday was the first day that foreign journalists were allowed to enter the Gaza Strip since the fighting began.

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After 11 days of bombing and rocket fire in Israel and Gaza, the violence has stopped. Both sides are claiming victory. This is the sound of celebrations along the Gaza Strip last night after the cease-fire was called.


Israel has ramped up its attacks on the Gaza Strip to a new level, including using 160 aircraft along with artillery and tank fire to pummel what it says is a tunnel network that Hamas militants rely on to move people and equipment. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel isn't done.

"This is not yet over. We will do everything to restore security to our cities and our people," Netanyahu said in a statement issued from Tel Aviv.

Updated May 12, 2021 at 8:47 PM ET

LOD, Israel — Intense exchanges of rocket fire and airstrikes have turned life upside down for people in Gaza and Israel, and the conflict has no end in sight. In many instances, the violence has killed indiscriminately.

Updated May 11, 2021 at 4:07 AM ET

JERUSALEM — A new round of Israeli-Palestinian violence continued to escalate Monday as Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza toward Jerusalem and Israel responded with airstrikes.

Palestinian health officials said 24 people, including nine children, were killed in the strikes. The Israel Defense Forces would not confirm those figures but said three Palestinian militants were killed in a targeted attack.

JERUSALEM — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday tapped centrist opposition figure Yair Lapid to try to form a new government, sparking potentially weeks of political negotiations that could break Israel's cycle of inconclusive elections and lead to the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's record-breaking uninterrupted 12-year tenure.

But there are "many difficulties" to forming a new government, Rivlin acknowledged, leaving open the possibility of an unprecedented fifth election in the span of two years.