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Israel News for 11-30-18

Iranian Weapons
A Boeing 747 belonging to Iranian airline Fars Air Qeshm, which is reportedly used by the Revolutionary Guards to smuggle weapons, landed in Beirut yesterday. It was the first direct flight from Tehran to Beirut for the airline. The Iranians are suspected of smuggling advanced weapons systems into Syria and Lebanon.

For further reading click here.

Fake News
Syrian news agency SANA and Russia’s RIA news agency reported that the Syrian army shot down an Israeli warplane and 4 missiles yesterday during an attack at al-Kiswah, a town south of Damascus, which is only 50 kilometers away from the Israeli border. The town allegedly houses an Iranian base.

According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the Syrian reports are false and no Israeli plane was shot down. However, a surface-to-air missile was fired at an open area in the Golan Heights and IDF forces are searching the area for additional hits.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Thursday that “for the first time in 75 days, Israeli missiles directly attacked targets south of Damascus.”

For further reading click here.

Sara Netanyahu
Sara Netanyahu, the PM’s wife, will head an Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry delegation to Guatemala in a couple of weeks. Mrs. Netanyahu and the Israeli delegation were invited, by the Guatemalan president’s wife, to take part in a cornerstone laying ceremony for a new neighborhood in a village called “Jerusalem,” which was recently built to house the victims of the Fuego volcano that erupted six months ago.

The improvised village was an initiative of Guatemala’s Jewish community rabbi, Joseph Gramon, with help from the ZAKA organization and local organizations. Mrs. Netanyahu is expected to announce additional Israeli aid in the fields of pediatrics and drinking water purification.

For further reading click here.

Partition Plan
On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and 1 absent, to partition Palestine into 2 separate states (Arab and Jewish). The momentous vote was widely celebrated in the soon to be Jewish state. The Arabs weren’t too happy with a state in only part of the land. When Israel officially declared statehood in May of 1948, the Arab nations tried to take the entire pie…and the rest is history.

The Israel Forever Foundation has some great articles about the momentous UN vote. To read more click here.

Making Donuts
With Hanukkah beginning on Sunday night, the website Israel21c has launched a 4 part web series to teach you how to make classic Israeli dishes in a one minute video. The first video is on making jelly donuts (sufganiyot), the traditional Israeli Hanukkah treat.

To watch the video click here.

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Israel News for 11-28-18

US Demands
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman condemned the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the arrest of an Arab resident of Jerusalem (who is also an American citizen) who they claim was involved in selling property in the Old City to Jews, and demanded his immediate release. Friedman tweeted, “The Pal Authority has been holding US citizen Isaam Akel in prison for ~2 months. His suspected ‘crime’? Selling land to a Jew. Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release.”

Under PA law, selling land to Jews is illegal and punishable by death. The sentences must be approved by PA President Abbas, who has preferred to order life sentences instead, to mitigate international backlash.

For further reading click here.

Peace Plan
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon told journalists that the Trump Administration told him that the US President’s Middle East peace plan is completed and will be release in early 2019. He was not given any details of the plan. He said the timing of the release was discussed with Israel.

For further reading click here.

Arms Sale
South Korea is planning to buy two Green Pine Block C radar systems, built by ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. An official at the defense ministry estimated the deal to be worth NIS 330 billion won ($292 million) and said that the systems would be deployed in the early 2020s. The system is intended to boost South Korea’s capabilities to detect and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage.

For further reading click here.

Drug Traffic
Israeli police arrested Rami Yogev, the manager of the Development and Resources Department at El Al, for involvement in a large-scale drug trafficking operation. Yogev, 53, has worked for El Al for 25 years.

As part of his job, Yogev serves as the liaison between El Al and the Shin Bet, which determines the security arrangements for EL AL flights and their representatives abroad. Therefore, he is granted a top security clearance—one of the highest in Israel—and is authorized to enter restricted areas housing the planes, and load and unload special supplies, including weapons. He allegedly used his clearance to smuggle large amounts of cocaine to Israel.

Three other men suspected of involvement in the drug trafficking network were arrested. One of the suspects was identified as ex-Shin Bet official Beno Shalom, who served for 12 years as an agent in the Shin Bet’s Jewish Division and was even involved in a secret operation in which he infiltrated an extreme right group.

Yogev’s attorney said that his client “denies these allegations. Due to his classified nature of his job, I cannot elaborate further. We are confident that the police will release him soon.”  The other suspects also denied their involvement.

For further reading click here.

Secret Operation
A Lebanese newspaper has published what it claims are the details of the Israeli secret operation in Gaza in which an Israeli Lt. Colonel was killed earlier this month. It reads like an episode of Fauda. To read the details click here.

Ark Coming
A Dutch carpenter, Johan Huibers, who built his own replica of Noah’s Ark has announced plans to sail the 2,500-ton vessel to Israel. The vessel took over four years to build at a cost of $1.6 million, covered by donations. Huibers says he built the ship according to the dimensions detailed in the book of Genesis: “three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits” (Genesis 6). The vessel is 125 meters long, 29 meters across, and 23 meters in height. It weighs about 2,500 tons and contains life-size figures of animals.

The ark don’t have a motor, so it will need to be towed to Israel, which will cost around $1.3 million, but Hubert believes he can raise the money through donations.

To see a photo of the ark click here.

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Israel News for 11-26-18

Terror Attack
Early today, 3 soldiers doing road work on Route 60 in Gush Etzion were hit by a car driven by a terrorist. Two of the soldiers are listed in light condition and the third in moderate condition. The terrorist fled the scene but was later shot and killed by security forces.

For further reading click here.

Bahrain Next
After visiting Oman last month, PM Netanyahu will reportedly visit Bahrain. The Gulf state has 1.4 million people, including 40 Jews and one synagogue. Huda Ezra Ibrahim Nunu, a Bahraini Jewish woman, served as Bahrain’s ambassador to the US between the years 2008-2013. Attorney Nancy Dina Kadouri, also Jewish, serves as one of the members of the upper house of the National Assembly in Bahrain, whose members are appointed by the king. 

For further reading click here.

Africa and Israel
Chad’s President Idriss Deby visited Israel this past weekend for the first time. Chad is a Muslim majority central African nation that severed ties with Israel in 1972. At a press conference on Sunday with Deby, PM Netanyahu said, “Chad is a very important country. It’s an important country in Africa. It’s an important country for Israel. In the last two years I’ve been three times in Africa—East Africa and West Africa. Now I’m going to drop a big hint, I hope to come to the center of Africa. And I wish to bring with me Israeli entrepreneurs, Israeli experts, Israeli companies, everything that can improve the life of the peoples of Africa, which is something we believe in. Israel is coming back to Africa, Africa is coming back to Israel.”

One of the issues Netanyahu and Deby discussed was Israel’s intention to launch a direct fight route from South America to Israel crossing Nigeria, Sudan, and Chad’s skies, to which Deby reportedly agreed. Deby promised to assist in convincing Sudan to open its skies to Israeli flights.

The PM said, “As a leader of an African country, an important African country, a majority of whose population is Muslim, you are coming to Israel to renew our friendship and our relationship. I think it is a testament of what is going to happen with other such countries in Africa as well, and I believe that you are paving the way for many others.”

Deby said, “I’m happy to be here in your beautiful country. This visit will allow us to turn over a new leaf in the relations between both countries. This visit is historic for Israel as well as for Chad.”

Deby also met with Israeli President Rivlin, to whom he stressed his desire for a resumption of full diplomatic relations.

For further reading click here.

Thai Workers
After a year long investigation, the BBC is reporting that Thai workers in Israel are subject to abuse and neglect. The report suggests that the workers are subject to unsafe work practices, unsanitary living conditions in filthy and polluted environment, and that many of them are “overworked and underpaid.” The report also highlighted the dozens of unexplained deaths among Thai workers.

According to the report, the Israeli and Thai governments signed an agricultural labor agreement back in 2012, which saw 25,000 Thai workers being brought to the country to work on Israeli farms, and although technically the workers are legally protected, their working conditions depend on the farmers, who provide them with food and shelter and could terminate their employment at any moment.
Many of the Thai workers are forced to work many hours spraying pesticides without being provided protective equipment, with Israel using more pesticides per agricultural dunam than any other OECD country.

The Ministry of Labor issued an official response to the report, saying hundreds of inspections are carried out annually on farms that employ Thai workers with the help of interpreters. The ministry said, “More than 1,500 investigations have been opened since 2013—into pay and working hours. We’ve issued 3,000 warnings and 200 fines totaling more than $3.8 million.”

For further reading click here.

Major Pipeline
After two years of intensive discussions, Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy, with the backing of the EU, have reached an agreement on laying the world’s longest underwater pipeline for the export of gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. The agreement should be signed in February 2019. Estimates are that it will take one year to arrange the financing for the project and five years to lay the pipeline, so that if all goes according to plan, the pipeline could be in place by 2025.

Under the terms of the agreement, exports of gas to the European market from Israel and Cyprus will be given preferential status. Other countries can be allowed to link up to the pipeline with the agreement of the founding countries. The pipeline, which will have a capacity of 10-20 billion cubic meters of gas, will be laid from Israel’s economic water to Cypriot waters and across Cyprus and via sea onto Greece, Crete and Italy.

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for 11-21-18

Coalition Loses
PM Netanyahu’s coalition lost a vote in the Knesset yesterday. Even though the issue at hand was just an amendment on a bill that did not carry major significance, the loss still highlighted the coalition’s tenuous position with only a one vote majority. Many ministers are calling for elections, but the PM is apparently going to try and hold on to power for as long as possible. The opposition currently does not have enough votes to win a no confidence vote in the Knesset.

For further reading click here.

Indictment Recommended
The Israel Police and the Israel Tax Authority have recommended that the State Prosecutor indict Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) for fraud and breach of trust, perjury, tax evasion and money laundering. According to the police, the investigation found sufficient evidence to charge Deri with fraud and breach of trust over his conduct towards a businessman while serving as a minister; tax offenses amounting to millions of shekels; money laundering; obstruction of justice; and perjury in the false written declarations he submitted to the State Comptroller and Knesset speaker about his assets and earnings.

Deri is the head of the Ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas party in the Knesset.

For further reading click here.

Gaza Beware
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz are all calling for tougher military measures against Gaza including targeted killings of Hamas leaders and an all out invasion.

Erdan said, “Today, we’re closer than ever since the disastrous disengagement plan to being forced to recapture parts or all of the Gaza Strip. If that is the only way we can guarantee long-term quiet and security for our citizens, then that is what we will do. We won’t allow anyone to deter us.”

For further reading click here.

Shorter Service
The IDF and Finance Ministry are looking into the possibility of shortening the mandatory 32 month military service for men to 2 years. In addition to saving money, the shortening of service would be a result of the larger pool of soldiers available due to Israel’s growing population.

The main concern in the military over shortening men’s service involves elite combat and intelligence units that require lengthy training periods of a year or more before a soldier is deployed operationally. The new plan would require such soldiers to sign on for an additional six to 12 months if they wish to enlist in those units.

For further reading click here.

Airbnb Folds
Airbnb folded to anti Israel pressure this week and announced that it will remove all apartments in Jewish communities in the West Bank from its website. A statement from the company said, “We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin called on Airbnb to reverse their decision calling it “shameful.” The minister said he was looking into taking action against the company’s activities throughout Israel.

Deputy Minister Michael Oren criticized Airbnb for blacklisting and singling out Israel while ignoring other regions involved in land disputes, such as Turkish Cyprus, Tibet, the Crimea and Western Sahara. He called on supporters of Israel to cancel their Airbnb accounts.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the decision anti-Semitic saying it stemmed from political, and not business, considerations. He said, “The BDS movement does not differentiate between the whole of Israel and Judea and Samaria, as far as they are concerned, Israel has no right to exist.” He also said that he intends to consult with officials in the US, where more than 25 states passed laws banning boycotts of Israel.

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for 11-19-18

No Resignations
Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, of the Bayit Yehudi party, announced today that they would not resign and bring down the government. The two had threatened to resign if Bennett was not appointed Defense Minister. But PM Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he would retain the defense portfolio for himself. The government currently has only a one vote majority in the Knesset.

For further reading click here.

Budget Cut
The government has approved a 22 billion shekel ($5.9 billion) budget cut that will affect all ministries. The cuts will take place over the next 20 years. The money saved will go to fund additional pay for police officers and prison guards. Some of it will also be used for aiding the Israeli communities on the Gaza border, hiring additional construction inspectors, and hosting the Eurovision Song Content. Each ministry budget will be cut by 1.3%. Non of the ministers were very happy with the cuts.

For further reading click here.

Wounded Officer
The IDF captain who was seriously wounded last week in the covert operation in Gaza in which a Lt. Colonel was killed, was released from hospital this weekend after his condition significantly improved.

For further reading click here.

Terror House
The house of terrorist Ahmed Nassar Jarrar, the head of the terror cell responsible for the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevah last January, has been rebuilt only eight months after being destroyed by the IDF during a raid. The IDF is currently examining whether the reconstructed house could also be legally torn down.

For further reading click here.

Peace Coming
Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), who maintains extensive ties with countries in the Persian Gulf, says that he believes that the 6 Gulf states will soon open diplomatic relations with Israel. He said, “I believe we will soon see the official forming of relations with Bahrain, and the rest will follow.”

Over the past 15 years, Rabbi Schneier has visited many palaces in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. According to him, the Iranian threat is what stands behind the change in attitude toward Israel. But he thinks that economic opportunities are also a factor. He said, “The current Emir of Qatar and leaders in Saudi Arabia said that the combination of Gulf’s wealth and Israel’s high-tech knowledge could potentially transform the region into the most successful area in the world.”

Schneier said, “If in the past it was argued that the Gulf states would be willing to establish official relations with Israel only after peace with the Palestinians is achieved, then today the leaders of these countries say that merely returning to the negotiating table will suffice. I believe we will see diplomatic relations developing with all six Gulf states as early as 2019.

[This could be a major factor in Netanyahu’s decision not to invade Gaza at this time.]

For further reading click here.

Netflix Attacked
A new Netflix series set in Tel Aviv has come under social media attack for being filmed in Amman, Jordan. According to Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, Netflix decided to film in Jordan because of budgetary constraints. The production company is using street signs in Hebrew, cars with Israeli license plates and actors wearing IDF uniforms. The newspaper noted that the production at the local level is being handled by Jordanian company Desert Motion Pictures. Some Jordanians are not very happy. But the ones earning money from the production are probably not too upset. After all, business is business. [Can’t wait to watch the show.]

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for 11-16-18

Coalition Crisis
Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett is demanding to be appointed defense minister after Avigdor Lieberman resigned from post earlier this week. He claims to want “to get Israel back to winning ways” [sounds familiar?]. He said, “The mindset over the past several decades has been—to avoid contact with an enemy … The enemy in turn interprets it as a fear of confrontation. The fact that we began to believe that there is no solution to the issue of terror is very dangerous. But there is something that could be done. There is a solution. When Israel decides it wants to win, we will win.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri have both urged the Prime Minister to call early elections, since the withdrawal of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beyteinu party from the government has left the coalition with only a one vote majority in the Knesset.

The Ultra Orthodox parties are also leaning towards having new elections, since the tenuous coalition puts their Draft Law bill in jeopardy, which would result in yeshiva students getting drafted into the IDF — something they are vehemently against.

In all likelihood there will be new elections in which, according to a new poll, Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Haredi parties will lose seats, while Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi will gain.

For further reading click here and here.

Jerusalem Mayor
The winner of the Jerusalem mayoral election, Moshe Leon, had the full support of the Ultra Orthodox Sephardic Shas party. This is clear from the video of Leon with Shas party leaders, including Aryeh Deri and Rabbi Sholom Cohen. Leon is seated with a white kippah.

To watch video click here.

New Photos
28,000 public-domain photos extracted from public and private archives in Israel are now available on Wikimedia Commons. The released photos include images documenting the early days of the Jewish settlement in what later became the state of Israel. Some examples: the graduation ceremony of the first batch of Jewish air force pilots taken in 1939 in the British airport that preceded Ben Gurion International airport, Israel’s main aerial gateway; Jewish British Army recruits training for battle in 1941; and an outdoor Torah class in 1920s’ Jerusalem.

The photos were all taken before 1947 and are at this point, according to Israeli law, free of any copyright protection or restrictions.

To see a few examples of photos click here.

Quiz – Israel – Dates

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Israel News for 11-14-18

Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire Tuesday night. Egypt, the UN, Norway, Qatar and Oman helped mediate the agreement, which was then approved by PM Netanyahu. The PM decided to accept the agreement despite opposition by cabinet members including Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Ze’ev Elkin. There was no vote on the matter. The agreement was strongly recommended by the IDF leadership.

For further reading click here.

Defense Minister Lieberman resigned because of his opposition to the ceasefire agreement. He said, “The question being asked is why now. As far as I’m concerned, the ceasefire yesterday, along with the entire process of reaching an arrangement with Hamas, means surrendering to terrorism.” Netanyahu will most likely take on the portfolio of Defense Minister (he’s already Foreign Minister). Lieberman urged the PM to call for new elections as soon as possible.

Hamas rejoiced at Lieberman’s resignation, saying he is “admitting defeat and acknowledging his inability to handle the Palestinian resistance. This is a political victory for Gaza, which succeeded in standing strong and causing a political earthquake in Israel.” Islamic Jihad concurred.

For further reading click here.

In the wake of the ceasefire, a Palestinian was shot and arrested by IDF troops this morning after throwing several grenades at the Gaza security fence. The grenades all failed to explode.

For further reading click here.

Jerusalem Mayor
In the runoff election for Jerusalem Mayor, right-wing candidate Moshe Lion beat his independent secular rival Ofer Berkovitch by 51.46% to 48.54%. Lion, an accountant and former director-general of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, will become the first-ever mayor of Jerusalem of Sephardi descent. He was supported by the Sephardic ultra-orthodox party Shas and by Degel Hatorah (Lithuanian Haredi). Lion’s party did not win a single council seat, thus making the work of forming a council coalition very difficult.

For further reading click here.

Reward Offered
The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the identification or location of Hamas leader Salih al-Aruri, and Lebanese Hizballah leaders Khalil Yusif Mahmoud Harb, and Haytham Ali Tabatabai.

Salih al-Aruri is a deputy of the Hamas’s political bureau and one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing. Al-Aruri is currently living freely in Lebanon, where he is reportedly is working with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force. He raised funds for and directed Hamas military operations in West Bank and has been linked to several terrorist attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings.

Khalil Yusif Mahmoud Harb is a close advisor of Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanese Hizballah, and has served as the group’s chief military liaison and Palestinian terrorist organizations. Haytham Ali Tabatabai is a key Lebanese Hizballah military leader who commanded Hizballah special forces in both Syria and Yemen.

For further reading click here.

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Israel News for 11-13-18

Rocket Attack
Over 400 rockets have been fired into Israel since Monday evening, when at least 300 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza. 100 rockets were launched in the span of an hour. Rocket strikes were reported in Ashkelon and Sderot and in Netivot, where the local religious council building was hit. Early today a rocket hit a 4 story residential building in Ashkelon, killing a Palestinian man from Hebron and injuring 2 women.

According to the Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross), at least 19 Israelis were injured by rocket fire in Ashkelon and over 30 were treated for shock. Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva treated 47 people, three injured and the rest suffering from shock.

Two other homes in Israeli border communities suffered direct hits, but no one was hurt. Residents of the south have been ordered to stay near shelters. School was cancelled in all Gaza border communities, as well as in Be’er Sheva, Omer, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi and Gedera.  

Iron Dome missiles have intercepted over 100 rockets.

Also, a 19 year-old IDF soldier is in critical condition after an anti-tank missile was fired at an empty bus he was standing beside, near the Gaza border. The bus, from which IDF troops had just disembarked, was completely destroyed.

For further reading click here.

IDF Response
Israeli aircraft have attacked around 150 targets in Gaza since the rocket attacks began on Monday evening. One of the targets destroyed was the Gaza City headquarters of Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV station. Israel had fired warning shots ahead of the airstrike, prompting the station to halt programming and replace it with a logo. Minutes later, the airstrike flattened the three-story building and the station went black.

Planes also hit Hamas’s interior security headquarters, which was disguised as the Al-Amal Hotel, and Hamas’ military intelligence force for research and development, which was located in a high-rise structure near a school. There were no casualties in any of the attacks on high-rise buildings, since Israel gave Hamas time to evacuate them before attacking.

The IDF also hit other military and terror targets in Gaza, resulting in the death of 6 Palestinians.

Israel has denied claims by Hamas that they are engaged in cease fire talks.

For further reading and photos click here.

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Israel News for 11-12-18

Gaza Fighting
Last night, an IDF commando force secretly entered into Gaza and was discovered by Hamas forces. An exchange of gunfire ensued. IDF Lt. Col. M., 41, was killed and another officer was moderately wounded. Israeli aircraft entered into the fight to assist the IDF force. Six Hamas terrorists, including a commander, were killed. Seven other terrorists were wounded. A short time following the altercation, 17 rockets were fired at Israeli border communities. Most of the rockets exploded in open fields and 3 intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

Lt. Col. M. is survived by a wife and two children. He will be laid to rest at 3pm on Monday in his community. His name and information have been withheld by the military censor. The wounded officer was evacuated to the Soroka University Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. He underwent surgery during the night and is hospitalized at the Intensive Care Unit in moderate and stable condition.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman mourned the loss of Lt. Col. M. saying, “The State of Israel lost a glorified fighter whose contribution to the country’s security will remain covert for many years to come. I send my deepest condolences to the family and swift recovery wishes to the officer, who was wounded in the incident.”

PM Netanyahu said, “I bow my head to the loss of Lt. Col. M., a glorified fighter, who was killed during an IDF mission in Gaza. Someday the full scope of his heroism will be revealed. Israel’s citizens owe him so much. Our forces acted tonight with courage and bravery. I salute Lt. Col. M., his family, and his comrades-in-arms. May his memory be blessed.”

For further reading click here.

Submarine Indictments
The Israel Police announced Thursday there is sufficient evidence to indict six suspects in Case 3000, the investigation into Israel’s acquisition of 3 submarines and 4 patrol boats from Germany. The six suspects include former senior IDF officers and close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: attorney David Shimron, the prime minister’s personal lawyer and his relative; former deputy National Security Advisor Brig. Gen. (res.) Avriel Bar Yosef; former Navy commander Maj. Gen. (res.) Eliezer Marom; former minister and current chairman of the Keren Hayesod, Eliezer Sandberg; former PMO bureau chief David Sharan; and Brig. Gen. (res.) Shai Brosh.

While the police can recommend indictments, only the prosecutor can decide whether to indict.

For further reading click here.

Bahrain Invite
Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen received an invitation last week to participate at the Startup Nations Ministerial conference held in Bahrain. The trip will follow visits by PM Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Katz to Oman and Culture Minister Regev to Abu Dhabi in the past few weeks.

For further reading click here.

Highway Expansion
In the wake of 2 deadly accidents that claimed 17 lives in the past week on highway 90, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced that he has directed the Ministry of Transport to draw up plans to turn the 2 lane highway into a divided road with 2 lanes in each direction. Highway 90, which stretches 480 kilometers from Eilat to the Upper Galilee, will be called the Cross-Israel Highway East. It is the longest highway in Israel.

Katz plans to get approval for the NIS 2 billion plan from Prime Minister Netanyahu and the cabinet. Katz also wants to convert several other two-way undivided highways into four-land divided highways including Road 25 between Dimona and Beersheva, Road 31 between the Dead Sea and Arad, the eastern section of Road 1 near the Dead Sea, Road 505 between the Jordan Valley and the Kessem Inteerchange on Road 6, and Road 71 from Beit Shean to the Hasargel Junction.

For further reading click here.