Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-30-18

Terrorists Killed
The IDF killed three terrorists yesterday who were attempting to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza. Two of the terrorists threw explosives at soldiers before being shot. Later on, the IDF apprehended two terrorists with knives and wire cutters who managed to cross into Israel from Gaza.

For further reading click here.

Syria Attacked
The Syrian army has reported that military bases near Hamas and Aleppo were attacked by missiles over the weekend. The Syrian opposition said 38 regime soldiers were killed and 57 were injured in the attack. It also said that one of the locations hit was an army base known as Brigade 47 near Hama city, widely known as a recruitment center for Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias who fight alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces. The Iranian news media denied that any Iranian fighters were killed.

Israel’s Defense Minister Lieberman stated yesterday, “We will keep our freedom of operation in all of Syria. We have no intention to attack Russia or to interfere in domestic Syrian issues. But if somebody thinks that it is possible to launch missiles or to attack Israel or even our aircraft, no doubt we will respond and we will respond very forcefully.”

PM Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet for an unplanned meeting at the Kirya IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv today.

For further reading click here.

Pompeo Visits
New US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel yesterday and told PM Netanyahu that President Trump “will withdraw from the Iranian nuclear agreement” if it cannot be fixed. “It’s pretty straightforward.” At a news conference Pompeo said that the US remains “deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats towards Israel and the region.” He said, “Strong cooperation with strong allies like you is critical to countering Iran’s destabilizing and malign activities. The United states is with Israel in this fight and we strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself.” Netanyahu praised Trump and called Pompeo and true friend of Israel.

For further reading click here.

Pollard Release
According to an Israeli TV report, President Trump is considering allowing Jonathan Pollard to leave the US and move to Israel. Pollard served nearly 30 years for spying for Israel, and since being paroled in 2015 has been prohibited from leaving US soil. Last October, PM Netanyahu reportedly asked Trump to allow Pollard to move to Israel.

Trump may also attend the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem next month. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is currently set to lead the 250-member delegation for the event, which will include 40 members of Congress and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. Other media reports have suggested that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could lead the delegation, in lieu of a Trump arrival.

For further reading click here.

School Raided
Police investigators raided the Bnei Zion pre-military academy yesterday and confiscated computers and documents as part of their investigation into the deaths of the 10 students who were tragically killed on a school trip by a flash flood. The academy’s principal Yuval Kahan, who is suspected of negligent homicide, was arrested on Friday.

A 25 year old instructor, herself a former student of the school, claimed during questioning that she warned authorities and asked for the trip to be canceled due to possible floods. She added she shared her concern with her father, deputy commander of the search and rescue unit that was rushed to scene after the disaster, and that he had also attempted to get the trip canceled—but his warnings went unheeded as well. The instructor was released on house arrest. Another instructor, Aviv Bardichev, 27, was also arrested.

The State Comptroller has indicated that he will open an investigation into the tragic incident.

Meanwhile, thousands attended the funerals of the 10 teens as well as memorial services and gatherings.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-27-18

Tragic Accident
Yesterday, 10 teenagers (12th graders) on a school trip in the Arava (southern Israel) were killed when they were swept away by a flash flood as they were hiking in a wadi (stream). The nine girls and one boy were students at the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv. The other 15 students on the trip were rescued.

The dead students are: Ela Or from Ma’ale Adumim, Romi Cohen from Moshav Maor, Yael Sadan from Jerusalem, Maayan Barhum from Jerusalem, Agam Levy from Moshav Herut, Gali Balelli from Givatayim, Shani Shamir from Shoham, Adi Ra’anan from Moshav Mikhmoret, Tzur Alfi from Mazkeret Batya, also in central Israel and Illan Bar Shalom from Rishon LeZion. Seven of the teens are being laid to rest today. May their memory serve as a blessing for us all.

Israel Police has launched an investigation into the deaths of the teens. According to a police spokeswoman, the organizers of the trip from the pre-military academy ignored flash flood travel warnings issued for the area. Even many of the students expressed hesitation prior to the trip about heading to the area, which is prone to flash flooding. Two staff members of the school, including the principal, have been arrested and a third has been placed under house arrest.

To read more about the teens and to see their photos click here.

For more on the tragedy click here.

DM in Washington
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met yesterday with new US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington DC. The meeting was also attended by Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner. The DM will also visit the Pentagon to meet with US Defense Secretary James Mattis. The visit comes ahead of a May 12 deadline President Trump has set to decide on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

For further reading click here.

Knesset Rabbi
With Knesset Rabbi Alexander Hochman due to retire in a few months, the Knesset will be seeking a new rabbi — male or female. The rule that requires the Knesset rabbi to be ordained by the Chief Rabbinate has been found to be discriminatory against women and been removed. The new rules require applicants to possess a kashrut supervisor certificate from the Chief Rabbinate, which many women have.

The position of Knesset rabbi mostly entails handling the kosher supervision of parliament’s various kitchens, oversight over its synagogues and assorted religious services, installation and maintenance of mezuzot for its hundreds of chambers, sale of chametz before Passover and other duties.

For further reading click here.

Jew Imprisoned
Yemenite news sites are reporting that a Jewish man, identified as Libby Salam Marchabi, was found guilty by the court in the capital of Sanaa, which is controlled by the Iranian backed Houthis, and sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly helping smuggle an ancient Torah scroll out of the country. The “crime” was committed in March of 2016, when Israel covertly brought 19 of Yemen’s remaining Jews to Israel. The Jews brought with them ancient manuscripts, including the Torah scroll.

For further reading click here.

Navy Shabbat
This is how Israel’s navy brings in the Shabbat – click here to watch.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-25-18

No Expulsions
The state gave official word to the Supreme Court yesterday that it will refrain from issuing further expulsion orders to Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers, and that all orders already served will be rescinded. The decision came in response to two petitions calling on Israel to halt the dissemination of expulsion orders and the holding of hearings for the African migrants, seeing as no country has agreed to take them in as yet.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced that following Uganda and Rwanda’s refusal to take in migrants under the terms Israel demanded, immediate preparations for the reopening of detention facilities will commence.

The Population and Immigration Authority released a statement saying, “The state will continue working on the issue of infiltrators, including encouraging their willing departure or unwilling deportation, in accordance with the possibilities the law affords.”

For further reading click here.

Terror Kites
The Palestinians seem to have found a new method of terror to use against Israel: kites. Over the last couple of weeks kites carrying incendiary devices have been unleashed over Israeli farms from Gaza. When the kites land on a field they set the dry fields on fire.

One farmer who lives in a community near the Gaza border said, “We’re dealing with a new phenomenon, one which is destructive, dangerous and quickly gaining momentum. We see kites flying towards us on a nearly daily basis. We monitor them to see that they don’t land in fields just now—during the harvest—when everything’s dry and highly combustible. It may seem like a gimmick to a lot of people, but for us it’s a serious threat.”

For further reading click here.

Terrorist Body Returned
The body of a Hamas scientist killed last week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will be repatriated to Gaza for burial. Egypt has agreed to allow the body to be returned through its border. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had appealed to Egypt to refuse the Palestinian request for the body’s return. Palestinians are blaming Israel for the assassination.

For further reading click here.

No Phones
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that that holding a mobile phone while driving, even if not using it, is illegal. The court ruling was in response to an appeal by someone convicted for driving while holding his phone. If you’ve driven in Israel you’ve probably noticed that many drivers are busy doing several tasks while driving, including drinking coffee, reading, arguing, sleeping, or trying to prevent other drivers from getting in front of them, which no doubt has something to do with the high number of road accidents and fatalities. Let’s hope Israeli drivers get the message and start focusing on their driving. It’ll save lives.

For further reading click here.

Green City
According to a study by online travel specialist TravelBird, Tel Aviv is the 16th greenest city in the world. Overall, about 23% of Tel Aviv is comprised of green space. The city is also home to more than 260,000 trees covering some 20 square miles. That comes out to around 5,000 trees per square kilometer. And city officials continue to increase green space by refurbishing pedestrian walkways and planting shrubs and trees in empty lots. Not too bad for a city founded on sand dunes just over 100 years ago.The number one city on the list is Reykjavik, Iceland.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-23-18

Missiles to Syria
Russia is reportedly considering supplying the Syrian government with its powerful S-300 missile defense system, and has warned Israel that attacking it would be “catastrophic for all sides.” Russia had originally agreed to sell the system to Syria in 2010, but scrapped the plan at Israel’s request.

The Russian-made system offers long-range protection against both fighter jets and missiles. The system has been supplied by Moscow to Tehran, and deployed by the Russian army in Syria, alongside its more advanced iteration: the S-400.

Israeli officials have expressed concerns that selling the S-300 system to Damascus could weaken Israel’s regional air supremacy. Therefore, Israel might look to destroy the defense system, preferably before it is set up and made operational.

For further reading click here.

Terrorists Arrested
Israeli security forces arrested 19 wanted Palestinians early Sunday, including 15 Hamas members who were arrested in the Ramallah area. Among them was Khaled al-Din Hamed, a Hamas member from the Gaza Strip, and other senior members who received funding to carry out different assignments in their area of residence.

Meanwhile, Arab media outlets are reporting that a senior Hamas terrorist was killed in an explosion in northern Gaza. Three other terrorists were injured in the blast. It’s unclear whether the explosion was accidental or a result of a drone attack.

For further reading click here.

Terrorist Assassinated
A Hamas-affiliated Palestinian engineer from the Gaza Strip was shot dead on Saturday near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur by two people on a motorcycle. The assassination is being blamed on the Mossad. Israel denies the accusation. The engineer was an expert in rocket building.

For further reading click here.

Embassy Prep
The Foreign Ministry is busy preparing for the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, which is scheduled for May 14. The ministry is planning for an 800 person US delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are also expected to attend. Of course, all of Israel’s senior officials will be there too. Guatemala is scheduled to open its embassy in Jerusalem 2 days after the American opening.

For further reading click here.

Eurovision Yiddish
If you haven’t heard yet, Israel’s song entry in the annual Eurovision contest is Toy by Netta, which addresses issues related to the #MeToo movement. Well, now there’s a Yiddish version (parody).

To watch the music video click here.

Prayer for Israel
Check out this music video of a version of the prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel sung by acapella group Voices – click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-20-18

EU Blocks Funding
The European Parliament in Brussels has passed legislation preventing the transfer of funds from the EU’s PEGASE (the funding mechanism for the Palestinians) to the Palestinian Authority, if those funds are to be used for education to hatred. The new legislation determines that classes and instruction programs using EU funds must reflect shared values such as peace, liberty, tolerance and non-discrimination in the education system.

For further reading click here.

Terror Averted
On Wednesday, A Palestinian man driving a truck carrying “powerful” explosives was arrested trying to enter Israel through a northern West Bank checkpoint. Security guards found the explosives embedded in the truck’s air conditioning system during a routine check of its roof. The truck was carrying products marked as “intended for border communities” and agricultural goods for rural communities in central Israel. Police sappers diffused the bomb. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the IDF would “hunt the bastards who planned this attack during our holiday. They will not sleep until we find them.”

For further reading click here.

Prize Refused
The Genesis Prize Foundation, which awards what it calls the “Jewish Nobel,” announced it was canceling its prize ceremony in Israel in June after 2018 recipient Natalie Portman said she would not take part in light of “recent events.” Portman remarked that, “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, holds dual US and Israeli citizenship, and has said that she is proud of her Israeli roots and Jewish heritage. She directed and starred in a Hebrew-language adaptation of Israeli novelist Amos Oz’s memoir, “A Tale of Love and Darkness.”

For further reading click here.

Israel Prize Winners
Sixteen men and women were honored yesterday with receiving the Israel Prize, the countries highest civilian honor. The list including seven professors, four former MKs and two former ministers.

To read about all of the winners, click here.

Startup Rankings
Israeli business publication Calcalist has published its annual ranking of Israel’s 50 most promising startups. To see the full list and read about the startups, click here.

Music Video
Check out this awesome Yom Ha’atzmaut video featuring Shlomo Shabat and around 20 audience members.
Click here to watch.

Yom Hazikaron – Remembering Israel’s Fallen

Yom Hazikaron
Today is Yom Hazikaron, the day of remembrance, on which we pay remember and pay tribute to the members of Israel’s military and security services who paid the ultimate price serving and defending their country. We also mourn the victims of terror, who were murdered solely because they were Jewish and Israeli. The total of fallen since the founding of the state is 23,646.

The day was marked by a two unite long siren heard throughout Israel at 11am during which the entire country came to a halt. The official state memorial ceremony on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl was attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

PM Netanyahu said, “The people’s love is given to your fallen loved ones and our fallen loved ones every day, especially today.” He said, “All of us—Jews, Druze, Christians, Muslims, Bedouin and Circassians—stand together against the terror fanatics threatening to destroy us, and together we’ll keep defeating them.”

The PM recounted that an IDF orphan had asked him earlier this week about his thoughts while sending soldiers to battle. “I told him that I think about the security of the state and its citizens, I think about the soldiers, I think about you and families like your family which might pay the heaviest price of all. I think about my brothers in arms who died beside me, about David Ben Hamo of Be’er Sheva who died in my arms. I always think about the price and how to prevent deaths, and at the same time I know that without the heroism and sacrifice of our fighters, our existence can’t be secured. At moments of truth, we must defend our existence firmly, stand up to our enemies like a fortified wall. We are here thanks to the 23,646 fallen soldiers, whose names are on this wall.”

Speaking at a military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Lieberman said, “Here, in this place and in every military cemetery in Israel, there are no political parties or factions,” he began in his remarks in a bid to sweep aside political differences as the country unites to remember its fallen soldiers. Here, there are no tribes and no political camps, but only one camp—the children of Israel camp, who sacrificed their lives for Israel’s independence, for its security, for its future,” the defense minister continued, as he called on the nation to unite. Like them, who did not flinch from the dangers and understood that there is no other way, we must also do the same, in their memory and in their spirit, to be one nation and one camp against the challenges that the State of Israel faces.”

At a memorial ceremony for terror victims that took place at 1pm on Mount Herzl the PM said, “We have lost remarkable figures. When I look at the pictures and hear the stories, I immediately know, like all the people of Israel know, that the terrorists robbed us of huge souls. We will chase every despicable murderer while pursing our loved ones’ mission. We will settle the land, put down roots, build communities, strengthen mutual responsibility. Our culture of life and light wll defeat their culture of death and darkness. We have strength, willpower, persistence. We will all stand shoulder to shoulder and pass the torch of mission from hand to hand, from heart to heart.”

For further reading click here.

You can read more about today’s memorials and the heroism of the fallen on any of the Israel news publications and on

Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, is tonight and tomorrow.

May God accept the 23,646 who died in defense of Israel as our final sacrifice, and bless Israel with true peace.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-16-18

Tunnel Busting
The IDF neutralized a massive Hamas tunnel over the weekend by pouring cement into it. The tunnel crossed around 20 meters into Israeli territory in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted about the incident, saying, “We’ve opened the week with an impressive intelligence and operational achievement with the destruction of another tunnel, the longest and deepest exposed thus far. “Millions of dollars were invested in its excavation, money that would have been better served mitigating the plight of residents but has now sunk into the sand. Gaza residents, Hamas is frittering away your money on tunnels leading nowhere. We will get to them all.”  

The IDF has destroyed 8 terror tunnels in the last few months and expects to locate and destroy more in the future. An IDF spokesman said, “The army has been carrying out a methodical, operational, intelligence and technological mission to locate terror tunnels while construction on the barrier is ongoing to defend Israelis and the country’s sovereignty.”

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said that “Israel is the first in the world capable of locating and intercepting tunnels underground.”
For further reading click here.

Heated Exchange
Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat wrote a letter to all foreign diplomats stationed in Ramallah, denouncing US negotiator Jason Greenblatt and urging the diplomats to press the International Criminal Court at The Hague to charge Israel over “ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestine”. He wrote, “During the past few weeks, Mr. Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s envoy, has released several statements on the ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza whereby he has assumed the role of spokesperson of the Israeli Authorities.”

In response, Greenblatt tweeted, “Saeb Erakat’s personal attack on me is a symptom of the difficulties in the path to peace. Saeb knows there’s no truth to his accusation. This outburst, like all his recent outbursts, is merely intended as a distraction from the important work that lies ahead. But this empty, self-indulgent rhetoric won’t stop us from trying. Saeb: It’s time to time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Or, you can continue to run in circles, and get pretty much nowhere!”

For further reading click here.

Saudi King
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman kicked off an Arab League summit yesterday by criticizing US President Donald Trump’s decision to transfer the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said, “We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories.”

The king also said, “Saudi Arabia announces $150 million grant to support the administration of Jerusalem’s Islamic property.” Let’s hope they put that money to good use.

For further reading click here.

Dead Sea
The Prime Minister’s Office announced Sunday that it would be investing NIS 417 million shekels ($118.5 million) over the next four years to help Dead Sea area communities deal with the increasing problem of sinkholes and their negative impact on tourism.

The Dead Sea shoreline is receding by about one meter (three feet) per year thanks to natural evaporation, diversion of water from the Jordan River to the north for agricultural purposes, and the pumping out of water at the southern end by the Dead Sea Works for the extraction of salts and minerals. As the shoreline is increasingly exposed, freshwater rushes in and dissolves what used to be underwater layers of salt, causing the surface earth above these layers to collapse inwards.

Today, there are more than 6,000 sinkholes on the western side of the Dead Sea, with new ones showing up daily. The sinkholes have destroyed the public beaches in the northern part of the sea and are responsible for the loss of nearly 40 places of employment in the economically depressed area.

For further reading click here.

Northern Stimulus
Israel will allocate $27 million (NIS 95 million) to establish food-tech research and activity in Kiryat Shmona, the northernmost city near the Lebanese border. The planned food-tech hub will include the establishment of a new 161458.66-square-foot (15,000 square meters) micro industry hub, a national food tech research institute, and a startup accelerator. Part of the budget will be used to incentivize startups and companies to launch activity in the region.

The Israeli government approved the plan on Sunday, as part of an economic development plan that will see the establishment of seven dedicated tech hubs in areas of the country that are far from Tel Aviv.

For further reading click here.

Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Day

In Israel it is almost impossible to not remember and reflect upon the horrors and tragedy of the Holocaust. Especially on this day of remembrance, the Holocaust permeates every aspect of Israel’s existence.

But for those living outside of Israel, it takes effort to remember. Even if you try, the sheer numbers — 6 million — are simply overwhelming. How can anyone possible even begin to try to understand the suffering, brutality and horror inflicted upon millions of Jewish men, women and children in homes, schools, hospitals, on streets, in forests and in ghettos and concentration and death camps? It’s impossible.

The only way to attempt this awesome task of remembrance is to start with individuals. The Holocaust destroyed individuals — the kind of people you see in your own family and community.

Imagine the accomplished woman dressed in her finest business suit (is it you or someone you love?) being marched to her gassing. Imagine the accountant, professor, musician, storekeeper, carpenter or plumber being suddenly torn from his daily routine, herded into a forest and gunned down into a mass grave.

The sun shone, the birds sang and the local gentile population looked on (for the most part) as the Jewish populations of entire towns (like Teaneck, Lakewood, Monsey, Houston, San Diego etc.) were hunted down, collected in a central square and then forced onto trains heading to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, etc.

Distinguished rabbinic sages with long white beards and young yeshiva students immersed in Torah study alongside secular university students and communist activists went to their deaths with dignity and shared their final resting places in mass graves or ash piles.

If you’re willing to go one step further into a place that is almost too painful to even consider [if you can’t then please stop reading here]— take a look at your own young children or grandchildren (or nieces and nephews) and imagine those pure and innocent souls marching to their deaths — and imagine yourself helpless to do anything to help other than watch them…

Now you can begin, in the tiniest sense, to fathom the Holocaust, remember the tragedy and strive to ensure that it never happens again.

So on this day of remembering, try to take some time to reflect on the tragedy by identifying with the victims, even if you have no direct connection to any of them. They were people just like you.

As part of remembering the martyrs, try to do a good deed or act of kindness (mitzvah) in their memory.

May the souls of the millions that perished in the Holocaust be elevated and may they finally find some form of rest knowing that the Jewish nation can now live securely in the homeland they prayed and yearned for.

Remembering Aids
Reading books and watching movies about the Holocaust can help you better remember, understand and identify with the tragedy. In the spirit of Yom Hashoah I’d like to recommend a book that I believe is a must read.

It’s called Defy the Darkness by Joe Rosenblum. This guy went through so much and actually describes it in such great detail — more than I’ve seen anywhere else. It’s really mind blowing. 

I actually borrowed it from the library, read it, and then bought it (used) just to have a copy on my bookshelf — it’s that important.

But I warn you, it’s scarier than any horror movie you’ve seen. So if you can handle it, you should read it. 

If you’ve never seen the movie Schindler’s List, or if it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, I highly recommend watching it. It is, I believe, the greatest non-documentary Holocaust movie ever made.

A poll entitled “National Survey of Holocaust Awareness and Knowledge Among Adults in the United States”, taken by the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), found that 22% of Americans aged 18-24 said they have never heard of the Holocaust and 11% of 25-34 year olds said they were unfamiliar with it. Fifty-eight percent of the 1,350 people polled said that they believed that another Holocaust could take place again in the future. While 94% of all respondents said that Jews were the victims of the Holocaust, a significant percentage believed that only 2 million or less were murdered.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-11-18

Moscow Call
The Arabic-language Sputnik news website reported yesterday that the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren for a consultation in the wake of the attack against a Syrian air base that was allegedly carried out by Israel.

The Israeli Embassy in Moscow declined comment, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem said “We have ongoing conversations with the Russians all the time, and the ambassador will indeed meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov today.”

For further reading click here.

Iranian Casualties
According to a report by the private Tasnim news agency, 7 Iranian military personnel were killed in Sunday’s attack on a Syrian airbase that Syria and Iran accuse Israel of launching. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said at least 14 people were killed in the raid, some with foreign nationalities.

The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force, have been fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad for several years. More than 1,000 Iranians have been killed in Syria’s civil war, including senior members of the Guards.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned the Syrian army chemical attack saying, “The Syrian regime continues to perpetrate crimes against humanity in using these outlawed weapons. The latest attack joins a long series of similar attacks using chemical weapons perpetrated by the regime since Assad undertook to disarm from such weapons. The attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even to manufacture new ones. In so doing Syria is grossly violating its obligations and the decisions of the international community in this matter,”

For further reading click here.

Irish Mayor Rejected
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced Tuesday evening that he had instructed authorities to stop the mayor of Dublin, who was scheduled to land in Ben Gurion Airport during the night, from entering Israel. The mayor was scheduled to pass through Israel on his way to Ramallah to be hosted by the Palestinian Authority.

Deri justified his decision saying, “He [the mayor] acts in any way possible against Israel. He initiated condemnations against us and yesterday he led a resolution to expel our ambassador in Ireland. Now, he wants to enter PA territory in order to continue to incite and harm Israel. I instructed that he be prevented from entering so that he cannot harm the state. I will continued to use my authority against anyone who tries to harm the State of Israel, including senior public officials.”

Unfortunately, soon after the announcement by Deri the mayor tweeted that he was already in Ramallah. An Interior Ministry spokesman revealed that border control officials had failed to stop him, because the order had apparently spelled his name wrong.

A day before the mayor’s departure for Israel, the Dublin City Council adopted a resolution to expel the Israeli ambassador for the deaths of Palestinians during the March of Return violent demonstrations near the border with Gaza. The resolution has has no practical consequence, but is purely declarative. The Dublin City Council, with the mayor leading the way, has been an outspoken advocate for the Palestinians against Israel. Last year it flew the Palestinian flag over its building for a month.

For further reading click here.

Holocaust Day
Holocaust Memorial Day will begin tonight at 8pm at the Warsaw Ghetto Square in Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. The day’s events will be collectively titled, “Holocaust survivors shape memory and build a state”, interweaving with Israel’s upcoming 70th Independence Day. President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at the ceremony and six Holocaust survivors will light torches to remember the 6 million Jews murdered.

To read about their individual stories of survival, click here.

Jewish Numbers
According to figures released by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, there are currently 14,511,000 Jews living in the world, compared to 16,600,000 on the eve of World War II. The current number is the same as the Jewish population number in 1922.

The data indicate that there are currently 6,446,000 Jews in Israel, 5,700,000 in the US, 456,000 in France, 390,000 in Canada, 290,000 in Britain, 181,000 in Argentina, 176,000 in Russia, 117,000 in Germany, and 113,000 in Australia.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-9-18

Russia Blames Israel
Russia today blamed Israel for attacking a Syrian air base. The attack on the base near the city of Homs came after a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian army killed over 60 civilians near Damascus over the weekend. Russia’s Defense Ministry said two Israeli fighter jets launched the attack on the T4 air base in central Syria from Lebanon’s air space and that Syria shot down 5 out of the 8 missiles fired at the base. The other 3 reportedly killed 14 people, including Iranians.

Yesterday President Trump strongly condemned the chemical attack, blamed Russia and Iran and threatened that there would be a “big price to pay”. But the Pentagon denied attacking the air base. So did Israel.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Strikes
Yesterday afternoon 3 Palestinians crossed into Israel from northern Gaza. After hiding for a short time they were discovered and fired upon by IDF tanks. The 3 managed to escape back across the border unharmed. After a thorough search of the area, the IDF found 2 explosive devices. Meanwhile another Palestinian was apprehended crossing the border.

In response to the incursions, Israel Air Force fighter jets attacked a Hamas military base in northern Gaza early today.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Protests
On Friday, around 20,000 Palestinians demonstrated at the Gaza border in a protest that soon turned into day-long rioting. Nine Palestinians were killed as a result of clashes with Israeli forces including Yaser Martuja, who was wearing a blue protective vest with the word PRESS in bold lettering. The IDF released a statement saying, “The IDF does not intentionally fire on journalists. The circumstances in which journalists were hit, allegedly by IDF fire, are unknown to us and are being examined.”

The protest march (riot) was a continuation of the “Great March of Return” that began last Friday when 30,000 Gaza’s marched towards the Israeli border and tried to break it down and cross into Israel. Eighteen protestors were killed in clashes with the IDF, who prevented them from crossing into Israel.

The IDF has appointed a panel to investigate the clashes over the last two weeks that have claimed a total of 30 Palestinians.

For further reading click here.

Stabbing Attempt
A terrorist attempted to stab an Israeli man at a gas station in Mishor Adumim near Ma’ale Adumim (Judea – West Bank) yesterday morning. A civilian driving by noticed the attack and opened fire at the terrorist, neutralizing him. The terrorist was taken to Hadassah Medical Center in serious condition. Three people were treated for shock.

For further reading click here.

Chief Rabbi on Syria
Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef called on the government to work towards ending the massacre being committed by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his own people.

A statement released by the Chief Rabbi’s office said:

“I have said in the past and I will say it again: What is happening in Syria is genocide of women and children in its cruelest form, using weapons of mass destruction. We have a moral obligation not to keep quiet and to try and stop this massacre. As Jews who have experienced genocide, as Jews whose Torah is a light to the nations, it is our moral obligation to try and stop this murder. It is an obligation no less important than the moral obligation to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria.”

In response to the statement, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid tweeted, ““Though I have my disagreements with the Rishon Letzion (Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel), the things he said about Syria today are the words of a true spiritual leader.”

For further reading click here.