Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-31-2019

Terror Attack
Early this morning a 19 year old Palestinian terrorist stabbed 2 Jews in Jerusalem’s Old City. Gavriel Levi, 50, was seriously wounded and Yisrael Meir Nachumberg, 16, was moderately wounded. Police shot and killed the terrorist as he was chasing another young man.

Nachumberg, who had just left morning prayers with his brother and was heading back to his yeshiva said, “I was riding on my bicycle towards Jaffa Gate, when I stopped to fix something on my bike. The terrorist came out of one of the side streets. At first I was sure that he had punched me in the back, but then I turned around and saw a knife covered with blood. The police came quickly and did a good job.”

Meanwhile, security forces shot and killed a 16 year old Palestinian who was attempting to scale a security fence near Jerusalem.

To watch a video of the police stopping the terrorist, click here.

Election Update
Labor party chairman Avi Gabbay announced today that his party will merge with either Blue and White or Meretz for the upcoming election. Recent polls showed Labor failing to pass the threshold if it runs independently. If if ends up joining Blue and White, it could potentially give the party the largest number of Knesset seats and a possibility of forming a government.

Likud is reportedly trying to get Ayelet Shaked to join its list.

Naftali Bennet is reportedly talking to the far right block about a possible merger.

For further reading click here.

Israel Parade
The Celebrate Israel parade will take place this Sunday, June 2, up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue from 57th to 74th Streets from 11am to 4pm.

The Parade will be on FOX MY9 from 12 to 3PM. It will be live-streamed on from 12 to 3PM , it can be viewed live-streamed on the Jewish Broad Cast Cable Channel as well as on Facebook Live via the Parade’s Facebook page.

Sunday also marks Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), the 52nd anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem in 1967.

If you’re in the NY area, please join us at the parade to show your support for Israel and to show the politicians who will be there that the Jewish vote, and supporting Israel, matters.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-30-2019

New Elections Called
The Knesset yesterday voted 74 to 45 to dissolve itself and call for new elections. The vote, supported by Likud, came just hours before PM Netanyahu’s midnight deadline to form a government. Had the deadline expired, the President would likely have given the task of forming a government to Blue and White’s leader Benny Ganz, whose party won 35 seats in the election, the same number as Likud (although it’s almost impossible that he would have been able to form a government).

Although the right wing block won a total of 65 seats in the election, which is enough to form a government, PM Netanyahu could not convince Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu to join with its 5 seats. That left Netanyahu with only 60 seats, one short of the required majority.

Lieberman refused to compromise on the issue of draft deferments for Haredi yeshiva students, which he vehemently opposes and which is a core element of his platform. The PM offered a compromise agreement, but Lieberman rejected it.

In an effort to circumvent Lieberman’s seats, PM Netanyahu tried to bring the left wing Labor party into the coalition bye offering it the justice Ministry and support for the candidacy of former defense minister Amir Peretz for the presidency. But Labor rejected the offer.

Netanyahu blasted Lieberman saying that the country was being forced to hold “unnecessary, wasteful elections because the people had their say. They didn’t have their say enough for what Mr. Lieberman wants.”

Blue and White leader Gantz accused Netanyahu of opting for “three crazy months” of a new campaign and millions of wasted dollars over new elections because he is “legally incapacitated” by looming indictments. “There is no other reason.”

One of the main issues that prevented Netanyahu from forming a unity government with Blue and White or Labor is his attempt to pass legislation granting the PM immunity from indictment, which he might be facing in the next few months.

Meanwhile, Jared Kushner is visiting Morocco, Jordan, Israel and Europe, to promote the upcoming US sponsored Bahrain Conference, which will deal with economic plans to improve the lives of Palestinians. Given that new Israeli elections will be held on September 17 followed by another period of coalition forming, it is unlikely that the US peace plan will be released before the year end.


Who will benefit from the new elections?

Will Bennet and Shaked try again to win enough seats to enter the Knesset, or will Shaked join Likud and bring a couple of seats with her?

Will voters punish Lieberman for preventing a new government by taking their votes to Likud and causing him to fall short of the threshold to enter the Knesset, or will they reward him for sticking to his principles and give him even more power?

Will voters decide to support Netanyau and assure that he has a clear majority by leaving the small parties and voting for Likud, or will they finally grow tired of his political moves to grant himself immunity from indictment and throw their support to Blue and White?

Will Arab voters come to the polls in droves and raise the threshold, thereby causing some of the smaller parties to fall short of reaching the threshold?

Anything can happen in new elections.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-28-2019

New Elections
With less than 2 days left to PM Netanyahu’s deadline for forming a new government, the Knesset passed its initial reading of a bill to dissolve itself and call for new elections, which would most likely be held on September 17th.

The main obstacle to forming a new coalition is the deadlock between the Haredi parties, who insist on a draft law to exempt yeshiva students from IDF service, and Avigor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, which opposes the draft bill and other regulations they view as religious coercion.

The Haredi parties have reportedly accepted a compromise presented by PM Netanyahu, but Lieberman has rejected it, calling it a “scam”. Without Lieberman’s party, the coalition only has 60 seats, which is one short of the majority required.

Lieberman said, “The sole motive of Yisrael Beytenu is to uphold the principles and commitments given to the public before the elections, during the elections and after the elections. We are not looking to bring down Netanyahu and we are not looking for an alternative candidate, but we will not give up our principles and promises to the citizens of the State of Israel.”

The Knesset vote to disband was 65 to 44 with 5 abstentions. If the PM fails to form a government by Wednesday, the Knesset will likely pass the second and third reading and call for new elections.

For further reading click here.

Golan Attack
The IDF attacked a missile launcher on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights Monday, after a missile was fired at an Israeli fighter jet flying a routine mission over northern Israel. The missile landed in Syrian territory and did not harm the aircraft. Syrian media reported that one Syrian soldier was killed and another injured.

PM Netanyahu tweeted, “A short while ago the Syrian army attempted to hit an Israeli plane; it did not succeed. In response the air force destroyed the launcher that fired on the plane. Our policy is clear – we will not tolerate any aggression against us, and we will respond forcefully.”

For further reading click here.

Lebanon Talks
Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz met US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs David Satterfield and was updated on his recent talks with Lebanon concerning its maritime border with Israel. Steinitz agreed to talks between Israel and Lebanon, with US mediation, with the aim of drawing an agreed maritime border that will enable both countries to develop gas and oil reservoirs adjacent to it.

The two countries are in dispute over an area of 860 square kilometers, mainly in the region of Block 9. This area is estimated to hold large quantities of gas, similar to those of Israel’s Tamar reservoir, and both countries claim ownership of it.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-24-2019

Raging Fires
The combination of unseasonably high temperatures above 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) for the last few days along with bonfires lit on Lag B’omer and not properly extinguished has resulted in several major forest fires in the Beit Shemesh and Beit Shemen area and in the Jerusalem hills.

On Thursday night around 200 firefighters battled blazes at Mevo Modi’im and Kibbutz Harel. Several thousand residents of Gimzo, Shilat, Kfar Rut, Neot Kedumim, Kfar Daniel, Mevo Modi’im and the Adam IDF base were evacuated. Forty of the 50 homes in Mevo Modi’im were damaged or destroyed.

A JNF official (the Jewish National Fund manages many of Israel’s nature areas) said, ”The damage is enormous, not just to the woodland, but also to the animals. Large swaths of the woodland, the green lung of the Dan region were burnt. We did not expect such a painful blow since we spent the whole night expelling people who lit bonfires.”

PM Netanyahu called on firefighting assistance from Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Croatia to supplement the 12 planes and 2 helicopters Israel is already using. Egypt also sent 2 helicopters.

To donate to the Mevo Modi’im Emergency Relief fund click here.

For further reading click here.

Coalition Progress
PM Netanyahu is reportedly making progress in forming his coalition government with only a few days left to the deadline. Avigdor Lieberman is expected to become defense minister again, but it is unclear how he will deal with the draft law that exempts yeshiva students from IDF service, which he claims is a dealbreaker form him and that the Haredi parties refuse to compromise on either. There is some sort of possible compromise in the works, but the decision whether to accept it or not lies now in the hands of the Gerrer Rebbe, the leader of the largest Chassidic sect in Israel, who will give his instructions to MK Yaakov Litzman of the UTJ party.

For further reading click here.

Economic Peace
Despite the Palestinian Authorities rejection of the US sponsored Bahrain conference, which is meant to discuss ways to improve the economic condition of the Palestinians, some Palestinian businessmen are very interested in participating.

For further reading click here.

Meanwhile, at least 15 major Palestinian businessmen have publicly refused to attend. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman will participate in the conference. Saudi Arabia is reportedly pressuring Jordan to attend too.

For further reading click here.

Meron Gathering
Over a quarter of a million Jews flocked to Meron last night on Lag B’omer to mark to anniversary of the death of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai, the 2nd century sage and author of the Zohar. Chassidic rebbes lit massive bonfires. There was lots of praying, singing, dancing and celebrating.

To watch some of what went on there, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-22-2019

PA Weapons
The Palestinian Authority recently received 10 light armored vehicles from the US with Israel’s approval. Representatives of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria strongly criticized the move, calling it calling it irresponsible, dangerous and risky.

Yossi Dagan, chairman of the Shomron Regional Council, said, “It’s amazing how the same people who chanted ‘don’t give them rifles’ at protests against the Oslo Accords are now giving them armor. “I call on those who made this unfortunate decision to regain their composure. This is a decision that can draw a high price in blood.”

PM Netanyahu and former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman authorized the transfer nine months ago at the request of the United States after years of delays, apparently in an attempt to appease the Palestinians after withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in tax payment (because they use the money to support terrorists and their families).

For further reading click here.

Equal Treatment
The Knesset has decided to give equal treatment to heterosexual and homosexual couples among its members. According to the new rules, spouses of gay members will be registered and treated the same as all other spouses. Among other things, they will be given permanent entry passes for the Knesset, be invited to all official ceremonies and events, and allowed to drive any Knesset-issued vehicles assigned to their partners. The new Knesset has 5 openly gay members.

For further reading click here.

Peace Movement
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia both confirmed on Tuesday they would take part in the June 25-26 “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop hosted in Bahrain and sponsored by the United States.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that the workshop “aims to lift the Palestinian people out of misery and to enable them for a stable and prosperous future. The UAE reiterates its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Saudi Arabia’s official news agency published a statement saying, “The minister’s [Minister of Economy and Planning] participation in this event is a continuation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s firm positions supportive to the sisterly Palestinian people in a way that achieves their stability, growth, and good living, and achieves their hopes and aspirations and yields security, stability and prosperity for the region in general. A number of businessmen and investors from the Arab countries and the world at large in addition to a number of finance ministers will take part in the workshop as they are going to review ideas and investment opportunities in the region and discuss the potentials of economic growth, development of human capital, creation of incentive investment environment in the region in general and in Palestine in particular.”

The Palestinian Authority announced that it will boycott the conference.

For further reading click here.

Israeli Arabs
Saudi Arabia is about to pass regulations that would permit Israeli Arabs to work in the kingdom. Apparently, Arab graduates of Israeli universities are looked upon highly in the Arab world.

For further reading click here.

Kabbalistic Celebration
The day is Lag B’omer, the 33 day in the traditional counting of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. During that time period the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva (and Rashbi’s teacher) were stricken by a plague and died as punishment for their lack of mutual respect and brotherly love. But on the 33rd day, Lag B’omer, the dying ceased. The day also marks the anniversary of the death of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), the second century sage who is believed to have authored the Zohar, the cornerstone text of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism).

Hundreds of thousands of Jews will celebrate the “hilullah” of Rashbi, in Meron (near Tzfat), where he is buried. The Aramaic word “hillulah” literally means wedding, but it is used to commemorate the Rashbi’s day of death, during which he is believed to have revealed the deepest secrets of Kabbalah to his close circle of students (a good reason to celebrate).

The celebration at Meron is highlighted by the burning of a huge bonfire that is lit by many prominent Hassidic Rebbes, with the Boyaner Rebbe leading off the festivities. Thousands of smaller bonfires are also lit in the Meron area and throughout Israel — and barbecue, marshmallows and amores are often not far behind.

It’s also customary for young boys to get their first haircuts at Meron (after letting it grow until age 3), so barbers eagerly join the crowds and do a brisk business — as do vendors of all sorts of cabalistic amulets and charms.

Any event that can bring together hundreds of thousands of Jews from different religious walks of life is something to celebrate. May the merit of Rashbi and the Jewish unity at Meron bless Israel and the Jewish People with peace and success.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-20-2019

Big Government
Israel’s cabinet has voted to allow the expansion of the number of ministers allowed in the government. The move is likely to make the PM Netanyahu’s job of forming a coalition a bit easier, as he will be able to dole out minister portfolios to his partners. The number of ministers is expected to increase from 18 to at least 26, which will cost Israel an extra 100 million shekel a year.

The PM advised his potential coalition partners to manage their expectations and come “back to reality”, in order to form a government before the deadline of May 28. He has yet to sign a deal with any party.

One of the PM’s demands for coalition partners is for them to commit to supporting a law that would grant a sitting prime minister immunity from being indicted. This has drawn criticism from members of his own Likud party.

For further reading click here.

Peace Move
The White House said yesterday that the US will hold an international economic “workshop” in Bahrain in late June to encourage investment in the Palestinian areas as the first part of President Trump’s soon to be released peace plan. The conference will bring together government and business leaders to help jump-start the economic portion of the broader US peace initiative.

White House officials have expressed the hope that the potential of significant economic benefits could convince the Palestinians to be a partner in the peace plan.

For further reading click here.

Polish Delusion
Poland’s PM Marek Magierowski said yesterday that the demand for the Polish government to pay restitution to Jews who survived the Holocaust would equate to “Hitler’s victory after his death” and doesn’t comply with the demands of international law.

He said, “We are told that Poland has to pay restitution, but we will not agree to it as long as we are in power. We are being unjustly treated. We are the victims and we are the ones who should be compensated.”

The United States has recently begun applying pressure on Poland, after President Donald Trump signed Act S.447 a year ago, which demands justice for uncompensated Holocaust survivors. Magierowski said if Washington was to demand restitution payments from Warsaw as part of Act S. 447, the Polish government would “redirect that demand to Berlin.”

[Am I missing something here? The Polish government stole Jewish (and non Jewish ) property after WWII and it refuses to return it to its rightful owners, or at least compensate the owners for their properties. What part of this are the Poles not understanding?]

For further reading click here.

The Winner Is
The Netherlands won the 2019 Eurovision song contest which was held in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Italy finished second and Russia third. Israeli representative Kobi Marimi came in 23rd. [You can’t win ‘em all]

During the week long competition, a special anti-drone unit of the Israel Police downed 80 drones that entered the restricted airspace around the competition.

For further reading click here.

Tunnel Busting Rabbis
According to a report just released, the IDF reportedly used two Kabbalists, Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Moshe, to locate Hamas terror tunnels back in 2014. The rabbis were able to discover 31 tunnels, which the IDF destroyed several months later during Operation Protective Edge. The IDF officers who were involved in using the rabbis to find the tunnels have remained anonymous, for fear of being seen as to mystical or spiritual.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-17-2019

Gaza Update
According to a report on IDF Radio today, Hamas has ordered demonstrators to stay home today. One IDF source said, “Hamas is quieting the demonstrators so that Eurovision will pass calmly.” According to Palestinian media sources, the weekly protest has been canceled due to the current heatwave in Israel as well as the daily Ramadan fast.

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces are on high alert in Jerusalem’s Old City and roads are closed as thousands head to the Temple Mount for Ramadan prayers.

For further reading click here.

Coalition Challenge
PM Netanyahu has yet to form a coalition, and his 2 week extension to do so is quickly running out. One of the major stumbling blocks is former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beytenu party, who is vehemently against draft exemptions for yeshiva students and attempts at what he views as religious coercion. THe draft exemption is a dealbreaker for the ultra-Orthodox parties. Negotiations with the other small parties who would make up the coalition are also not reaching fruition because, as the PM said, their demands are “impossible” and “entirely contradictory”.

For further reading click here.

Economy Booming
There was a sharp rise in GDP growth in Israel in the first quarter of 2019, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports. According to the first estimate the economy grew 5.2% on an annualized basis in the first quarter. This compares with 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2.8% in the third quarter of 2018.

Business output rose 5.8% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2019, after rising 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2.5% in the third quarter of 2018.

Imports of goods and services rose 6.7% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2019 after rising 12.2% in the preceding quarter. Exports of goods and services grew 4.9% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2019.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-15-2019

Nakba Day
Today is Nakba (catastrophe) Day, commemorated by Palestinians to mourn the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The IDF has deployed extra troops along the border with Gaza in anticipation of violent riots. Tens of thousands of Palestinian demonstrators are expected to arrive at the Gaza border fence after noon prayers today. In accordance with the recent ceasefire agreement, Hamas is expected to restrain the riots and act as a barrier between the security fence and the demonstrators [but that doesn’t always work out so well].

The Israel Police is also preparing for the possibility that the confrontations in Gaza will spill over into Jerusalem and the West Bank, following a call by the various Palestinian organizations for protests in those areas as well. Hundreds of extra police and Border Police officers were to be deployed to three locations in the capital – the Old City, neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and the crossings between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In addition to protests by Palestinians in the territories, Israeli Arabs also take part in demonstrations, some of which occasionally turn violent. The Nakba demonstrations are expressions of the aspirations of the Arabs (in and out of Israel) to take back control of the lands that some of their ancestors left in Israel. Nakba highlights the fact that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not based on Israel’s presence in the West Bank, but rather the essence of the conflict relates to Israel’s right to sovereignty in any part of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

The Arabs believe that the entire land belongs to them and that the Jews have no legitimate right to be there. In their point of view, there is really no difference between Jews living in Beit El and Efrat, and Jews living in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem.

And the point they make is true: the right of Jews to live in Tel Aviv is based on the same premise as the right of Jews to live in Beit El (West Bank). The Arabs consider the entirety of Israel as occupied territory, while we believe that it is (all) our biblical homeland. They believe that the Jews stole Jaffa and Haifa and Beersheva (etc) and built an illegal settlement on empty sand dunes, called Tel Aviv. That’s why giving away parts of the land will not solve the conflict.

The only true solution is for the Arabs to accept the right of Jews to live in the land between the Jordan and Mediterranean (the Land of Israel). Only then can there be true peace between the Arab and Jewish inhabitants of the land.

Madonna Arrives
Singing icon Madonna arrived in Israel last night ahead of her upcoming performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this weekend. She arrived despite calls by pro Palestinian groups for her to boycott the event.

She said, “I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be. My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.”

For further reading click here.

UAE Rabbi
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the New York University chaplain, will be the first chief rabbi of the United Arab Emirates. Sarna told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the position is unpaid, and that he will travel four times a year to Dubai, where the UAE recently installed a synagogue, to lead services during holidays and life-cycle ceremonies. He said he will stay on as chaplain at NYU and as the executive director of the university’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. There are apparently hundreds of Jews in the UAE, there for business reasons.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-13-2019

Gaza Open
On Sunday, Israel reopened its 2 border crossings with Gaza. On Friday, Israel lifted its ban imposed on fishing boats operating off Gaza.

Also, a Qatari envoy arrived in Gaza and is expected to transfer around $30 million, reportedly meant for the families living in poverty and those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Qatar’s Gaza Reconstruction Committee confirmed the payouts will begin on Monday, with each family in need receiving $100 in assistance. Payments will be distributed via the post offices in Gaza.

The payments apparently represent the first stage of the implementation of the agreement reached between Israel and Hamas after the latest ceasefire. Parts of the deal include the lifting of some restrictions on imports and exports entering and exiting Gaza and the expansion of the fishing zone.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry earlier confirmed it will transfer $480 million to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Qatar said that $300 million will fund health and education endeavors in the West Bank, while another $180 million will fund humanitarian aid, renovation works to improve electrical systems and support UN initiatives in Gaza.

For further reading click here.,7340,L-5508171,00.html

Plea Deal
A deal signed Sunday between the State Prosecutor and an unnamed Jewish minor indicted for conspiring to the 2015 murder of a Palestinian family in a firebomb attack on their home defined the minor’s crime as arson motivated by racism, instead of murder. The defendant confessed to the crime, and the state requested a prison sentence of five and a half years.

For further reading click here.,7340,L-5507921,00.html

Polish Theft
Poland has canceled the visit of a delegation of Israeli officials from the Ministry of Social Equality, which was due to take place Monday to discuss restitution for property confiscated from Jews during the Holocaust. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a political gathering Saturday that his country will not pay compensation for property lost in the Second World War and that Poland itself was a victim of the Nazis. [The fact that Poland was also a victim of German aggression does not give it the right to steal property.]

In what was described as the largest anti-Jewish demonstration in years, Polish nationalists marched to the American embassy in Warsaw, in protest of the so called JUST Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump last year requiring the State Department to report to Congress on the state of restitution of property stolen in the Holocaust in dozens of countries.

Poland is the only EU member that has not passed any laws regulating restitution for Jewish Holocaust survivors and their families. In other words, Poland refuses to return property to its rightful owners, who were primarily Jews, but also many wealthy non Jews who fled the country. That’s theft, anyway you look at it. And no country should be allowed to do that, especially one that is democratic.

Part of the Holocaust was the pillaging and theft of Jewish property. Until Poland passes a law for property restitution, the crimes of the Holocaust continue and Poland is complicit in those crimes.

For further reading click here.,7340,L-5508185,00.html

Trump Town
PM Netanyahu has chosen the fledgling settlement of Bruchim in the northern Golan to be renamed after US President Trump, in thanks for his recognition of the Golan as part of Israel. A draft plan already exists and offers 110 new homes be built in in the settlement, that will house both religious and secular residents. Ten people currently live there.

For further reading click here.,7340,L-5507855,00.html

Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-8-2019

Yom Hazikaron
Today is Yom Hazikaron, the day of remembrance for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The day was marked by a two minute nationwide siren and moments of silence at 11am, in memory of the 23,741 soldiers who have fallen in defense of Israel since 1860 and 3,150 terror victims (4 of whom were just killed by the rocket attacks from Gaza).

Those who died in the service of the country include IDF soldiers, members of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad, the Israel Police, the Prisons Service and those who died while serving in the pre-state underground militias and the Jewish Brigade in the British Army.

The Jewish Agency held a memorial service which also included the 12 Jews who were murdered in the Pittsburgh and Poway synagogue shootings.

The Defense Ministry said that it expected more than 1.5 million people to visit the country’s 52 military cemeteries and hundreds of military burial plots stretching from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south. This year, ceremonies were also held at some 50 memorials throughout the country.

During Yom Hazikaron, cafes and places of entertainment are closed and radio and television programming features sad songs. The names of all fallen are read over the course of the day on special television and radio programs. At sunset the day transitions into Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day, with a ceremony at the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, where the national flag is returned to full staff.

May Israel be blessed with peace and unity in the merit of those who gave their lives to ensure its survival.