Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-20-19

IDF Kills Terrorists
Early today, 2 terrorists threw several explosive devices at IDF troops guarding Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus). Troops opened fire at the terrorists, killing both of them.

For further reading click here.

IDF forces killed the terrorist who murdered an IDF soldier and a rabbi near Ariel on Sunday. Omar Abu-Laila was killed in a shootout in the West Bank village of Abwein, near Ramallah, after he opened fire on IDF forces who surrounded his house.

Meanwhile, the condition of Alexander Dvorsky, the 19 year old IDF soldier who was also shot by the terrorist, has significantly improved and his life is no longer in danger. Dvorsky immigrated from Moldova several years ago. His family lives in Nazareth-Illit.

For further reading click here.

Pompeo Visit
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Israel this week as part of trip during which he will also visit Kuwait City and Beirut.

In Jerusalem, the Secretary will meet with Israeli officials to engage on critical regional issues, including countering the Iranian regime’s malign influence and reaffirming the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. The Secretary will also discuss the Administration’s dedication to monitoring and combatting anti-Semitism. He will also participate in a meeting with Israeli, Cypriot, and Greek leaders to discuss key energy and security issues facing the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Pompeo does not plan to talk about the highly anticipated Trump Middle East peace plan. “Look, we desperately want a good solution. Mr. Kushner’s working on the Middle East peace plan. There’ll be a right time when we will introduce bigger pieces of that.”

Pompeo will not meet with any Palestinian leaders.

Regarding speculation that his visit just weeks before the Israeli elections is a show of support for PM Netanyahu, Pompeo said, “I’m going to Israel because of the important relationship we have. Leaders will change in both countries over time. That relationship matters no matter who the leaders are.”

For further reading click here.

Tel Aviv Costs
According to the 2019 worldwide cost of living report published by the Economist, Tel Aviv is the 10th most expensive city in the world. Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong share the top ranking, followed by Zurich, Geneva, and Osaka. New York tied Seoul and Copenhagen for sixth place. Tel Aviv shares the last spot in the rankings with Los Angeles.

The survey compares the prices of more than 160 products and services in cities around the world, including food and drinks, clothing, household supplies, average monthly rent, utility bills, private schools, and recreational activities.

For further reading click here.

Fast of Esther
Today is the Fast of Esther, commemorating the fast that Esther requested the Jews of Persia to observe as a way of beseeching God to grant her favor in the eyes of King Ahashverosh, so that she could plead for the salvation of the Jewish People. [Today we also have much to beseech God for.]

We celebrate the holiday of Purim tonight (Wed) and tomorrow (Thur), which commemorate the salvation of the Jews of the Persian empire, who were slated for destruction by the evil royal minister Haman. We read the Book of Esther (megillah), give charity and gifts and enjoy a festive meal. We also dress up in costume [to learn more about why we do that, listen to my “Jewish Wisdom” podcast Purim episode].

May we be saved from our enemies.

Happy Purim!

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-18-19

Terror Attack
At around 10am on Sunday morning, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a soldier at an intersection near the city of Ariel in Samaria. The terrorist then grabbed the soldier’s rifle and shot and killed him. The terrorist then shot at three vehicles, hitting and critically wounding 47 year old Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, a father of 12. He then hijacked a car and drove to a nearby junction where he shot and wounded another soldier. The terrorist then fled.

According to a preliminary investigation by the IDF, during the initial attack at Ariel Junction, the commander of the unit deployed to the junction managed to open fire on the terrorist during the attack, lightly wounded him. According to some reports, Rabbi Ettinger also managed to shoot at the terrorist.

Rabbi Ettinger was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva where doctors tried to save him, but he succumbed to his wounds. For the past three years, Rabbi Ettinger was the head of the Oz and Emunah hesder yeshiva in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv.

The soldier killed was Staff Sergeant Gal Keidan, aged 19 from Be’er Sheva, who was a member of the Artillery Corps. He will be laid to rest at 11am Monday at the military cemetery in Be’er Sheva.

The third victim of the attack, IDF soldier Alexander Dvorsky from Nazareth Illit, is still in serious condition at Beilinson Hospital. 

The IDF launched a massive manhunt to capture him. Security forces also raided the home of the terrorist, identified as 20 year old Omar Abu Lila from the village of Az-Zawiya, and arrested his younger brother and questioned his father.

For further reading and to view security camera footage of the attack click here.

Election Poll
According to the newest poll, Likud is expected to win 31 seats vs Blue White’s 30 seats. In total the right wing block is expected to win 63 seats, which would enable PM Netanyahu to form a coalition.

For further details on the poll breakdown click here.

The Supreme Court has disqualified the candidacy of Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, from the far right Otzma Yehudit party, from running in the upcoming elections. The court did not disqualify another Otzma candidate, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

At the same time, the court approved the candidacy of Professor Ofer Cassif of the far left Hadash party. It also approved the controversial Arab Balad party.

The court’s ruling was expected and should not effect the ability of PM Netanyahu to form a right wing coalition.

For further reading click here.

Slander Alert
Beware of extra anti-Israel propaganda in honor of the 15th annual Israeli Apartheid Week, which kicks off today.

According to its website, “Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people and build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It now takes place in over 200 cities across the world, where events such as lectures, film screenings, direct action, cultural performances, postering, among many more help in grassroots organizing for effective solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle.”

To know what you’re up against, you can check out the website here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-15-19

Rockets Fired at TA
Last night 2 rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza. Sirens were sounded in Tel Aviv and the Iron Dome missile defense system was activated, but it was not fired, as the rockets fell in uninhabited areas causing no damage or injury.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied responsibility for the rocket attack. Hamas is currently engaged in talks with Egypt regarding a long-term ceasefire with Israel. The IDF said it considers Hamas responsible for any attacks from Gaza.

For further reading click here.

Israel Responds
Despite the IDF’s assessment that the rockets fired at Tel aviv last night were done so in error, Israeli aircraft attacked over 100 Hamas targets in Gaza. Targets included an office complex in Gaza City, an underground complex that served as Hamas’ main rocket-manufacturing site, and a center used for a Hamas drone program. No one was killed in the attacks.

The Hamas Interior Ministry said, “We are following up on the firing of rockets from Gaza against the national consensus and the ministry will take measures against the violators.”

For further reading click here.

Syrian Missiles
Israeli intelligence has taken satellite images confirming the construction of a new missile factory in the Syrian coastal city of Safita.

For further reading click here.

No Occupied
The US State Department changed its usual description of the Golan Heights from “Israeli-occupied” to “Israeli-controlled” in an annual global human rights report released by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday. A separate section on the West Bank and Gaza Strip also did not refer to those territories as being “occupied” or under “occupation.” State Department officials insist that the change in language does not reflect any policy change.

For further reading click here.

Exxon to Israel
Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, is reportedly considering exploring for oil and gas offshore from Israel. Exxon executives held talks with Israeli Minister for National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz in Houston this week about bidding for the right to explore and pump oil from offshore blocks in an auction that Israel will hold in June.

Exxon recently acquired a $50,000 data package from the Israeli energy ministry for the auction and an Exxon team visited a data center set up by the ministry in Jerusalem.

Major US and international oil companies have avoided investing in Israel, for fear of antagonizing the governments of giant regional oil and gas producers such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-13-19

Terror Network
The IDF has uncovered a secret Hezbollah terror network on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. The network was set up without the knowledge of the Syrian government and is currently in the process of stockpiling weapons, recruiting members, building infrastructure and gathering intelligence.

Hezbollah operatives patrol the border with Israel to identify areas along the fence vulnerable to infiltration attempts and to collect information on the activities and routines of the IDF troops stationed there. The operatives apparently also use positions of the Syrian army to gather intelligence information, with the help of Hezbollah fighters involved in the civil war.

For further reading click here.

Temple Mount Unrest
A Border Policewoman was lightly wounded Tuesday after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a police station near Lions’ Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The police entered the Temple Mount following the attack and closed off all the entrances and exits to the compound in order to locate the perpetrators. That let to violent clashes between police and worshippers. Police arrested 3 suspects.

PA President Abbas said, “We call on the international community to intervene urgently in order to prevent the escalation … we are holding urgent talks with all relevant parties, particularly with Jordan, in order to put pressure on Israeli government to put a stop to this dangerous escalation.”

Earlier in the day a terrorist with a knife charged at soldiers in Hebron. The soldiers managed to shoot him dead. No soldiers were injured.

For further reading click here.

Election Updates
New polls this week show the far-right Zehut party, led by Moshe Feiglin, winning 4 seats in the upcoming election. That’s up from zero in earlier polls. One of the issues on Zehut’s agenda is the legalization of marijuana. As a result, PM Netanyahu has said that he is looking in to the possibility of also supporting its legalization.

But not so fast. Yesterday, police arrested 42 people for using Telegrass, an app for buying and getting marijuana delivered to your home.

For further reading click here.

US Aid
The 2020 fiscal plan sent by the White House to Congress on Monday includes the full $3.3 billion in assistance promised under a 10-year memorandum of understanding, despite spending cuts throughout the proposal. The $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding, a 10-year defense agreement signed under President Barack Obama, went into effect in October.

The budget document says, “The Budget fully supports the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding and includes $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing grant assistance to bolster Israel’s capacity to defend itself against threats in the region and maintain its qualitative military edge.”

For further reading click here.

Golan Recognition
Joining the PM on a tour of the Golan, US Senator Lindsey Graham promised to to push for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. He said, “The Golan is not disputed. It is in the hands of Israel and will always remain in the hands of Israel. My goal is to try to explain this to the administration.”

The PM responded, “I think it’s very important that the international community recognize this fact, and accept it, and most especially our great friend, the United States of America.” He also thanks Graham for his “unbelievable support.”

For further reading click here.

Startup Nation
US company Nvidia has purchased Israeli company Mellanox for $6.9 billion in cash, in the second largest acquisition of an Israeli tech company. Nvidia develops and sells graphics processors, with AI components, for the gaming, autonomous vehicle, data center, cryptocurrency, and other industries. Mellanox develops and sells high-speed communications equipment using InfiniBand and Ethernet technologies. Mellanox was founded in 1999 by its CEO Eyal Waldman, Michael Kagan and Shai Cohen.

For further reading click here.

Lung Story
Nechama Rivlin, wife of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, received a lung transplant this week. The lung came from 19 year old Yair Yechezkel Halbali, whose family donated his organs after he drowned in an accident in Eilat.

To read more about this amazing story click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-11-19

Election Update
A new poll released by Yediot Achronot yesterday shows Likud trailing Blue and White (BW) by only 4 seats, down from 6 just 2 weeks ago. The poll also shows that 38% of voters support PM Netanyahu vs. 31% for BW leader Gantz. And 53% believe that Netanyahu will form the next government vs. 27% who think Gantz will.

For further reading click here.

Roy Folkman, a senior member of the Kulanu party, ruled out any possible coalition with left-wing parties after next month’s election, emphasizing that Kulanu is a “right-wing party”. He said, “I’ve said that we are natural partners of the Likud, and we will be partners of a right-wing, nationalist government. Of course we won’t go with a left-wing coalition. The only way that I could think of that it could possibly happen is maybe in the case of a unity government, but I think the odds of that happening are very low.”

For further reading click here.

Nation State
Responding to an Instagram post by Israeli TV personality Rotem Sela saying, “Dear God, there are also Arab citizens in this country. When will anyone in this government tell the public that this is a country of all its citizens, and all people are born equal.” — PM Netanyahu posted, “Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and not anyone else. As you wrote, there is no problem with Israel’s Arab citizens. They have equal rights and the Likud government has invested more than any other government in the Arab population.”  He added that a government including Arab parties would “undercut the state’s security.”

For further reading click here.

New PA PM
Palestinian Authority President Abbas has appointed Mohammad Shtayyeh as the new Prime Minister. Shtayyeh pledged, “to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital whose borders are the 1967 lines.”

He also said, “The Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are waging a struggle to protect the city from Judaization and to preserve it as an Arab Palestinian city. The struggle to preserve the narrative about the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem goes through strengthening the steadfastness of the Muslim and Christian residents of the city against the Jews.”

Shtayyeh is a senior member of Fatah and a longtime ally of Abbas. His appointment is viewed as part of a plan to shun and isolate Hamas. Hamas and Islamic Jihad condemned Shtayyeh’s appointment and said that it contradicts the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian factions.

For further reading click here.

Trade Talk
US trade negotiators will be visiting Israel this week for discussions on upgrading the existing agricultural trade agreements and reduce tariffs for American farm exports to Israel. according to a separate 2018 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, under the existing agreement, “virtually any product produced in Israel that can be competitive in the U.S. market, can enter the U.S. duty-free. In contrast, U.S. products continue to face high tariffs in many sectors limiting their access to the Israeli market.”

In 2017, the U.S. ran a trade deficit of almost $14 billion with Israel. The US is Israel’s biggest trading partner with annual trade worth $30 billion. The US is expected to push for the dropping of tariffs on American products sold in Israel. Open competition will benefit Israeli consumers by lowering prices on many goods including food and electronics.

For further reading click here.

Annexation
This Shabbat I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Michael Koplow, the Policy Director at the Israel Policy Forum, analyze and explain the issue of annexation of Judea and Samaria. His analysis was based primarily on a study conducted by Commanders for Israel’s Security, a non partisan movement of over 280 retired generals and equivalents in Israel’s security services, including the IDF, Mossad, Shin Bet and Israel Police.

The Commander’s study is unequivocally against the unilateral annexation either the entire West Bank, or even just Area C (which includes the areas with an Israeli presence and encompasses 60% of the West Bank), for the following reasons:

1. The cost of securing the area and of providing the Palestinian residents with social services will be prohibitive (tens of billions of dollars annually).

2. The international ramifications, including government sanctions and private BDS actions, will be crippling to the Israeli economy.

3. Israel will eventually be forced to grant citizenship to the 2.5 million Palestinians in the territories or face being labeled an apartheid state and be isolated and shunned like was the case with South Africa. Granting them citizenship will destroy the concept of a Jewish democratic state in Israel.

4. The annexation of territory will cause the downfall of the Palestinian Authority (which will lose the little credibility it still has) and will force Israel to take full security and administrative control over the entire territory, again causing a huge strain on the Israeli economy and the IDF.

Dr. Koplow stressed that the issue of annexation is at the top of the list of priorities for the Likud and all of the parties to its right, and will be implemented (in some form) in any new right wing government. He believes that the results will be catastrophic.

To clarify, Koplow’s own political viewpoint is center, leaning right. He is NOT a leftist.

In order to fully understand the underlying issues and to make up your own mind, I highly recommend you read the actual report put out by the Commanders for Israel’s Security.

To read more about this issue and download the report click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-8-19

Election Update
The Central Elections Committee ruled Wednesday that the Right wing Otzma Yehudit candidates Itamar Ben-Gvir and Michael Ben-Ari can run for the Knesset, despite Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan recommendation against allowing the latter to run. The committee’s vote passed by one vote. MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) announced that she would appeal the committee’s ruling before the Supreme Court.

For further reading click here. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5474805,00.html

Meanwhile, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz is courting the Druze vote, promising to ensure their equality under the law.

For further reading click here.

Soldiers Convicted
The military court in Jaffa yesterday convicted three soldiers from the haredi Netzah Yehuda Battalion of aggravated assault and aggravated battery against two Palestinian detainees in January. The Palestinians were arrested for allegedly collaborating with terrorists who killed 2 Netzah Yehuda soldiers.

The three convicted soldiers have reached a plea bargain with prosecutors, although it has yet to be approved. The deal will see the three sentenced to 190 days in jail, demoted to the rank of private and given probation. The final verdict will be handed down on Sunday.

Two more soldiers have also been charged in the affair, while the platoon commander is accused of standing by and not preventing the violence. He did not sign a plea bargain and will now face a full trial. The other two soldiers are reportedly negotiating their own plea deals.

For further reading click here.

Israeli TV
Looking for Israeli TV shows to watch? Click here for a list of 12 to check out.

Quoting Prophets
People looking to support liberal social and political policies tend to grab quotes from the Prophets that promote social justice for all. And these quotes are absolutely true, and accurately reflect the teachings of the Prophets. However, if we’re following the words of the Prophets then we should also realize that those same Prophets would also demand the rebuilding of the Temple on the Temple Mount and the institutionalization and enforcement of public (and private) observance of Jewish religious law. So those who choose to quote the Prophets should do so in the greater context of the teachings of those Prophets, and live by those teachings. All of them.

IsraelAM March 6

Israel News for 3-6-19 [infographic]

IsraelAM March 6

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-6-19

Gaza Strike
Last night Israeli aircraft attacked terror targets in a Hamas military compound in northern Gaza in response to incendiary balloons launched into Israel.

For further reading click here.

Election Update
Attorney General (AG) Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan have decided to recommend that Michael Ben-Ari, who heads the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, be prohibited from running for the Knesset in the upcoming election. The AG posted that Ben-Ari, “systematically made racist and inciting statements based on national and ethnic characteristics against the Arab population.”

The decision to ban Ben-Ari from the election will be made today by the Central Elections Committee, who will likely approve the ban. But the decision will then be brought before the Supreme Court, which in the past has not upheld bans in similar situations.

For further reading click here.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri said that his party would not, under any circumstances, join a coalition led by the Blue White party. He pledged to exclusively support PM Netanyahu.

For further reading click here.

US Missiles
The US Army has, for the first time, deployed its most advanced air and missile defense system, THAAD, to Israel. The US military said the decision to rapidly move the THAAD system to Israel was intended “as a demonstration of the United States’ continued commitment to Israel’s regional security.” As part of the deployment, US troops will be stationed in various locations in Europe, the United States and in Israel to operate the system in close cooperation with the IDF.

PM Netanyahu said, “Deployment of the American anti-missile system in Israel is additional testimony to the commitment of the US to the security of Israel. The American THAAD system is considered one of the most advanced systems in the world, and together with our defensive systems we are even stronger in order to deal with near and distant threats from throughout the Middle East. The bond between the US and Israel has never been stronger. I welcome this joint exercise.“

For further reading click here.

Rich List
21 Israelis are ranked on this year’s Forbes 2019 World Billionaires list, up from 18 last year. The top Israel, Eyal Ofer, ranked 149 with a fortune of $9.4 billion.

For further reading click here.

Rain Falling
Rain in Israel is considered a blessing, and this winter Israel is reaping that blessing. Some parts of the country, particularly in the north, have gotten 150% more rain than usual. The Kinneret has risen over 5 ft. It has rained somewhere in Israel every day this winter. And the rain is continuing into March, which is also not the norm. Good news.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-4-19

Terror Attack
Three terrorists rammed their vehicle into a group of IDF troops outside a village near Ramallah today. An IDF officer was seriously injured and a Border Policeman was lightly injured in the attack. IDF troops opened fire on the vehicle, killing 2 of the terrorists and wounding the third. The terrorists are suspected of also throwing fire bombs at a checkpoint on Rt. 443 last night.

The head of the trauma center where the officer was taken said, “After an initial evaluation and stabilization, the officer had undergone surgery. His life is not in danger and I hope he will recover without complications … he’s suffering from wounds to his limbs and head.”

Hamas proclaimed, “The death of the two martyrs near Ramallah proves that the Palestinian people are continuing their fight against the occupier until our land is liberated.”

PM Netanyahu said, “This morning IDF soldiers acted quickly and eliminated the terrorists who threatened to run them over. We send our best wishes for a quick recovery to the officer who was wounded and will do everything to speed up the demolition of the homes of these murderers.” 

For further reading click here.

Gaza Strike
The Israeli Air Force hit a Hamas observation post near the city of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza yesterday in response to Palestinians throwing explosive devices at the security fence. Earlier, two unarmed Palestinians were arrested by the IDF in northern Gaza after crossing into Israel. They were taken in for questioning.

For further reading click here.

Soldier Attacked
A Bedouin Israel Defense Forces soldier was violently attacked on Sunday by security guards at a train station in the southern city of Be’er Sheva, after he allegedly refused to identify himself or have his belongings checked. As a result of the confrontation, the soldier suffered a severe laceration to his head caused by the barrel of a gun one of the guards.

A statement by Israel Railways said, “During a routine security check at the Be’er Sheva central railway station, the soldier refused to comply with the procedures and even attempted to forcefully break into the station. The soldier confronted a security guard at the entrance to the station, prompting him to use force to prevent the passenger from entering the premises, in accordance with the security procedures of Israel Police.”

For further reading click here.

Consulate Closed
The US shut down its consulate in east Jerusalem today, which primarily served Palestinians, and combined it with the new US embassy.

For further reading click here.

Election Update
A new poll released yesterday gives the Blue and White (BW) party 38 seats, Likud 30, Hadash-Ta’al 9, Labor 8, Jewish Home (block) 7, United Torah Judaism (UTJ) 7, Meretz 6, New Right 6, Kulanu 5, Shas 4. According to these results, the BW can form a 61 seat coalition together with Labor, Meretz and Hadash-Taal vs. a right wing coalition of only 59.

Hadash-Ta’al is a combination of Israeli communists and other leftist factions and Arab and pro Palestinian groups. It is not the same as the Joint Arab List, which according to this poll, is not expected to cross the minimum vote threshold.

For further reading click here.

Powerful Country
US News and World Report released its list of most powerful countries, based on “five country attributes related to a country’s power: a leader, economically influential, politically influential, strong international alliances and strong military.” Israel ranked number 8 on the list, followed by Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The top 7 are US, Russia, China, Germany, UK, France and Japan. Not too shabby.

To see the list click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-1-19

Indictment of PM
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced yesterday that he has decided to recommend indicting PM Netanyahu on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges stemming from 3 cases. He said that his decision to indict was not final, as there was would first need to be a hearing arranged in coordination with the PM’s legal team. A last minute petition filed by the Likud with the Supreme Court to prevent the recommendation was rejected.

The charges against the PM include:

– accepting gifts from businessmen in exchange for providing them with favorable treatment related to various government related matters

– Making a deal with the owner of Yediot Ahronot to weaken rival newspaper Israel Hayom in exchange for favorable press coverage

– promoting regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Bezeq and its then-majority shareholder Shaul Elovitch in return for bribes and favorable coverage on Walla! News, which is owned by Bezeq.

The PM denies all charges. Appearing on national TV following the announcement, the PM called the timing of the announcement, six weeks ahead of elections, “outrageous” and accused his political opponents of carrying out an “unprecedented witch hunt.” He accused the Attorney General of threatening democracy, called the accusations a “blood libel” and pledged to debunk all charges against him.

Gantz called on Netanyahu to “show responsibility and resign”. The leaders of Labor and Meretz also called for the PM to resign. Likud MK’s stood behind Netanyahu and dismissed the charges as being false. The right wing parties will also continue to support the PM.

[ So it’s doubtful whether this (potential) indictment will change the upcoming election results and prevent the PM from forming another government. ]

For further reading click here.

UN Report
Israel vehemently attacked a report released by the UN Human Rights Council which accused Israeli soldiers of intentionally firing on civilians and committing crimes against humanity during a string of riots by Palestinian demonstrators last year on the Gaza border that left 189 people dead.

PM Netanyahu said,  “The UN Human Rights Council is setting new records of hypocrisy and lies stemming from its obsessive hatred toward Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. Hamas is the one firing missiles at Israeli civilians, throwing explosive devices and carrying terrorist activity during demonstrations on the Gaza border.”

He added, “Israel won’t allow Hamas to violate its sovereignty and hurt its citizens and will preserve its right to defend itself. IDF soldiers will continue defending with determination Israeli communities and civilians from Hamas and other terror organizations funded by Iran, which declares its intention to annihilate Israel.”

The commission also faulted Hamas for not preventing use of incendiary devices tied to kites and balloons, used to attack Israel.

For further reading click here.

Jerusalem Housing
The Jerusalem City Council is set to approve a plan to construct 25,000 new housing units in the capital, including about 10,000 units for the haredi public. The plan includes building new neighborhoods and expanding existing ones. The plan was delayed during Nir Barkat’s tenure as mayor of Jerusalem, and has moved forward under current mayor Moshe Leon.

For further reading click here.

Poland Sues
The Polish Institute of National Remembrance has filed a lawsuit against NBC journalist Andrea Mitchell, who said in a recent report from Warsaw that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was against “the Polish and Nazi regime.” She subsequently apologized on Twitter. But the Polish institute isn’t satisfied.

For further reading click here.