Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-23-2019

Terror Attack
Rina Shenrav, 17, from Lod was killed and her 20-year-old brother Dvir 46-year-old father Eitan were wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the road by a terrorist, while visiting a spring northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah near the settlement of Dolev this morning.

IDF forces are chasing a suspicious vehicle which escaped the scene and is believed to be the vehicle of the terrorists who threw the explosive device. Checkpoints have been set up and searches are being carried out in villages in the area.

The spring, Ein Bubin, is also called “Danny’s Spring,” after Danny Gonen, a Lod resident who was murdered there several years ago by a terrorist in the same location.

Rina’s father, Rabbi Eitan, had served as a medic in the army and administered first aid to his children.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack.

Rina Shenrav will be buried today in Lod. She was one of 11 children.

For further reading click here. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/267808

Yesterday, a terrorist armed with grenades who was trying to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza was shot and killed by IDF troops.

For further reading click here.

Tax Money
Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Fatah member, said an “agreement was reached a few days ago with the Israeli side to transfer the tax money on oil and fuels which the Palestinian Authority bought in Israel, in the amount of around two billion shekels ($568 million).” The tax money, collected by Israel on behalf of the PA, was being withheld by Israel because of the stipends paid by the PA to the families of terrorists.

Under Thursday’s deal, the Palestinians say Israel will stop collecting about $60 million in monthly fuel taxes and allow the Palestinians to collect the funds directly. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayeh says the additional revenue will ease a financial crisis and allow him to slightly increase civil servants’ partial salary payments, which have been significantly cut since last February.

For further reading click here.

Gender Separation
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday published a new set of guidelines that would allow local authorities to hold gender segregated events under specific conditions. His decision comes in the wake of a gender separated concert for the Haredi community in the city of Afula. The event was initially banned by the district court but then permitted on appeal to a higher court. The Supreme Court then banned the event, after it had already taken place.

AG Mandelblit said if a local authority wished to hold a gender-segregated event meant for a public interested in attending one, the officials must first examine the possibility of allowing the participants to be apart on a voluntary basis, without having to plan an event that’s segregated from the start.

He also urged the local authorities to take into account the conditions outlined in anti-discrimination laws, and demanded to make sure the participants for whom the event is intended would refrain from attending it otherwise.

For further reading click here.

Election Update
The Blue and White party said that it would not join in a coalition with the Joint Arab List unless they recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The comment came after Joint List leader Ayman Odeh said his party would consider joining a center-left coalition if his terms were met. Arabs make up 20% of Israel’s population, but only about half of Arab eligible voters voted in the last election.

For further reading click here.

Iraq Strikes
Israel has reportedly been striking Iranian related targets in Iraq.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-19-2019

Terrorists Killed
An IDF helicopter and tank opened fire on 5 terrorists attempting to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza over the weekend. Three terrorists were killed and one wounded. The incident took place less than two hours after three rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza. Two of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome.
The shrapnel from one of the rockets landed in a meat smoker located in the backyard of a home in Sderot, causing some damage to the structure.  Two people were lightly hurt while running to the bomb shelter, and four others – including a 79-year-old woman – were treated for shock.

The rocket attack was the second within 24 hours. The rocket which was fired into Sderot late Friday evening was also intercepted by the Iron Dome, prompting the IDF to strike at least two Hamas “underground infrastructures” in Gaza.

Politicians from both the right and left attacked PM Netanyahu for being weak against Hamas.

For further reading click here.

Terror Arrests
Security forces arrested 23 terror suspects and confiscated several automatic weapons, handguns and ammunitions in Palestinian Authority controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

For further reading click here.

Terror Ramming
A brother and sister from the settlement of Elazar were wounded in a car-ramming terror attack at a bus stop in Gush Etzion on Friday. The terrorist drove into the junction at high speed and hit the 20 and 18 year old. He was shot and killed by an off-duty policeman who was on the scene.

The brother and sister are Noa and Nahum Navis; they were waiting for a bus in order to join their parents on a family vacation. The attacker, 26-year-old Ala Harimi from the Bethlehem region, was a known felon and drug addict associated with the Islamic Jihad and the Fatah movements. He was jailed in Israel for terror offenses between 2014-2015.

For further reading click here.
 

Ukraine Visit
PM Netanyahu and his wife kicked off a two day visit in the Ukraine yesterday. In Kiev, the PM will meet with Zelensky and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, both of whom are Jewish. Ukraine is currently the only country besides Israel where both the president and the prime minister are Jewish.

Netanyahu will also visit a memorial at Babi Yar, where more than 30,000 Jews were killed in just two days during the Holocaust, and meet with local Jewish community leaders. Zelensky is set to accompany him to the memorial, which will be the first time a Ukrainian president accompanies an Israeli official to the site.

Sources say that the PM will also attempt to mediate between Ukraine and Russia.

Political commentators are speculating that the PM is visiting the Ukraine now to drum up support among Russian speaking voters in Israel ahead of the election. More than a third of all immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union came from Ukraine.

For further reading click here.

Date Season
The date harvest season in Israel kicked off this weekend. Israel supplies about 60% of the global market for Medjool dates, which are considered the highest quality dates and are most in demand. Israeli dates are exported to over 30 countries, particularly to Turkey. They are also exported to Arab countries, via third party brokers.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-16-2019

Terror Attack
Two Arab terrorists attacked and stabbed a policeman in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City last night. Other policemen shot the terrorists, killing one and seriously wounding the other in the leg.

For further reading click here.

Congresswomen Banned
Israel has banned U.S. Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel. PM Netanyahu said last night, “As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to every critic and criticism, with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry of people who call for and carry out a boycott of Israel, as is the case with other democracies that prevent the entry of people whoas positions harm that country. This is how the U.S. acted towards an Israeli Knesset member and other public figures in the world.”

The PM added, “Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activities to promote boycott legislation against Israel in the U.S. Congress. Only a few days ago, we received their visitation plan, which showed they were planning a campaign whose sole purpose is to strengthen the boycott and deny Israel’s legitimacy. They said their destination was ‘Palestine’ and not ‘Israel,’ and unlike all Democratic and Republican congressmen to this day, refrained from seeking a meeting with any Israeli official either in the government or the opposition.”

The congresswomen are supporters of the anti Israel BDS movement. Under Israeli law, backers of the BDS movement can be denied entry to Israel.

President Trump urged Israel to ban the congresswomen, tweeting that not doing so “would show great weakness”.

US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted, “Denying entry to members of the United States Congress is a sign of weakness, not strength. It will only hurt the U.S.-Israel relationship and support for Israel in America. No democratic society should fear an open debate. Many strong supporters of Israel will be deeply disappointed in this decision, which the Israeli government should reverse.”

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted, “Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib & Omar is beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel. @realDonaldTrump’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance & disrespect, & beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., criticized the decision, tweeting that while he disagrees with Tlaib and Onmar, “denying them entry into Israel is a mistake. Being blocked is what they really hoped for all along in order to bolster their attacks against the Jewish state.”

AIPAC also criticized Israel’s decision tweeting, “We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

[Some Israel supporters believe that the decision to ban will give the congresswomen enormous publicity and turn them into heroes.]

Congresswoman Omar said in a statement, “Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress. Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories. Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.”

“As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is my job to conduct oversight of foreign aid from the United States of America and to legislate on human rights practices around the world. The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”

For further reading click here.

Humanitarian Visit
After being barred from entering Israel, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib submitted a humanitarian request to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to be allowed in to visit relatives in the West Bank. She wrote, “I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa. This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”

Sources say that Tlaib could be allowed in if she signs a document agreeing to a series of restrictions, including committing to refrain from promoting a boycott of Israel during her stay.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-14-2019

Shiva Call
The PM and his wife yesterday visited the mourning family of Dvir Sorek, the soldier and yeshiva student murdered by terrorists last week, in the Ofra settlement in Samaria. The PM said, “We are determined to defend our homeland. These are not vain words – they are true words, until our enemies understand that we cannot be uprooted from anywhere in the Land of Israel, including from this place.”

For further reading click here.

Hamas Security
Hamas has apparently beefed up security along its border to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into Israel in the wake of several recent failed infiltration attempts. Hamas has sought to distance itself from the terrorists by describing them as “angry” Palestinian individuals seeking to end the siege on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian political analysts pointed out that Hamas did not endorse any of the terrorists, thus signaling its interest in preserving the ceasefire understandings reached with Israel earlier this year under the auspices of Egypt and the United Nations. However, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar pledged yesterday to continue the armed struggle against Israel.

For further reading click here.

Tsunami Drill
The Israeli navy participated in a massive tsunami drill in Haifa port along with the navies of Greece, France and the United States. The drill practiced for a humanitarian crisis sparked by a magnitude 7.0 temblor and subsequent huge tsunami hitting the coastal plain of Israel. Troops trained to quickly assess the damage and select a port to bring in assistance as the maritime gateway to the country. According to data, there is a significant earthquake in the region every 100 years, and the last one in Israel occurred in 1927.

For further reading click here.

New Poll
A new poll published Tuesday afternoon shows the Likud winning 30 seats, five less than it won in April, but more than the Blue and White party, which is projected to fall from 35 seats to just 29. Yamina, the new joint right wing list, would win 11 seats, as would the joint Arab list.

Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu would rise from 5 to 10 seats and the Haredi parties would win a total of 15 seats. The left wing Labor and Gesher list would win 7 seats, as would Ehud Barak’s Democratic Party and Meretz list.

Based on the poll, the right wing block would win a total of 66 seats, but only with Lieberman, who has vowed to block the formation of a narrow rightist government.

For further reading click here.

Star Returns
After 10 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Omri Casspi will return to Israel to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. He is the first Israel to have played in the NBA.

For further reading click here.

Measles Kills
Rotem Amitai, the 43 year old El Al flight attendant who contracted measles on an El Al flight from New York on March 26, dies yesterday after being hospitalized for months in serious condition. She had received one out of the two necessary vaccinations as a child. Rotem leaves behind 3 children.

For further reading click here.

Kabbalist Passes
Rabbi Chaim Cohen, a renown kabbalist, passed away yesterday at age 84. Rabbi Cohen was known as “the milkman” due to his day job in a Tel Aviv dairy owned by his family. He was part of a group of kabbalists who studied together in the 1960’s and were each called by the jobs they worked at. Rabbi Cohen lectured at a yeshiva in Givatayim and authored numerous books explaining the Torah portions and other subjects according to Kabbalistic teachings (Talelei Chaim). He is survived by his wife and four children.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-12-2019

Terrorists Captured
Israeli anti-terror special forces captured the killers of 18-year-old Dvir Sorek, the soldier and yeshiva student murdered last Wednesday in Gush Etzion. The 2 terrorists were caught in the Palestinian Authority-controlled village of Beit Kahil, near Hebron. IDF forces mapped their homes for demolition early this morning.

For further reading click here.

Terrorists Killed
Over the weekend IDF Golan troops killed 4 heavily armed terrorists attempting to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza. The terrorists were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Hamas denied responsibility for the attack, but Israel is holding them responsible. There were no IDF casualties.

For further reading click here.

Temple Mount
The Israeli government had issued a ban on Jews visiting the Temple Mount on Tisha B’av (Sunday), which coincided with the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha — when tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers would come to pray on the mount. Thousands of Muslim worshippers rioted and attacked police, causing police to fire stun grenades and close one of the gates to the mount.

However, the government reversed the ban on Sunday morning, allowing Jews to ascend the Temple Mount. A total of 1,729 Jews visited the Temple Mount on Tisha B’av, which is 20% more than last year.

No Separation
Nazareth District Court Judge Jonathan Abraham ruled on Sunday that any form of gender segregation would be banned at a concert of Hasidic singer Motty Steinmetz at Afula City Park scheduled for Wednesday, even though the even is specifically geared towards the Haredi community, which required gender separation at events. The petition was filed by the Women’s Lobby.

The judge said, “I forbid segregation on the grounds of gender, race or any other category during the event. Each person who attends the event will be allowed at his or her discretion, to be at any place at the event. Any ushers, security guards, or any other authorities at the event are prohibited from carrying out any segregation based on gender.”

The judge instructed police and security guards to prevent any attempt to carry out gender segregation and remove from the event anyone who tries to carry out gender separation.

For further reading click here.

Unity Talks?
Blue & White chairman Benny Gantz today revealed details of talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud before the Knesset was dissolved in May and said he is open to future negotiations after the September 17 elections. Speaking in an interview with YNet, Gantz said that if Netanyahu offered a rotation agreement, in which he Gantz would be prime minister first, then it would be possible to start talking.

This remark by Gantz demonstrates that despite previous comments about not joining a coalition with Netanyahu because of the possibility that he will be indicted, Gantz is nevertheless open to considering it.

PM Netanyahu has said that he will only form a right wing government. But things tend to change in Israeli politics.

For further reading click here.

Miss Universe
Representatives of the Miss Universe Organization have met with Israeli producers in New York and have secretly visited Israel. The interest in holding the event in Israel comes in the wake of the success of Eurovision in Tel aviv this year.

For further reading click here.

Rescuer Rewarded
A Palestinian man who saved the children of Rabbi Michael Mark, who was murdered along with his wife in a terror attack in 2016, was awarded residency in Israel last week. The Palestinian rescuer and his wife, who have requested to remain anonymous, helped the surviving Mark family escape their overturned vehicle and provided first aid until first responders arrived on the scene. As a result of his actions he received death threats and could not continue living in his village.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri praised him for his “selfless, noble” actions and said he would now be able to begin a new life in Israel.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-7-2019

Minister in Trouble
The Israel Police said Tuesday that there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against Deputy Health Minister Litzman for fraud, breach of trust and witness tampering in two cases, one of which relates to the extradition of former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer, who is accused of child sex abuse and the second involving the business of a close associate.

Litzman, the head of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, has been a long-standing key coalition partner of PM Netanyahu. He denies all the allegations against him.

[Judging from past history, the charges shouldn’t negatively effect Litzman’s prospects at election time.]

For further reading click here.

Terrorists Busted
The Shin Bet has uncovered several Hamas terror cells operating in the West Bank and receiving orders from Gaza. The cells had planned terror attacks against Israeli as well as Palestinian Authority targets. Security forces also found an explosive device in a makeshift lab in Hebron. The device was to be detonated in Jerusalem.

For further reading click here.

More Building
The West Bank’s Civil Administration High Planning Subcommittee authorized the promotion of 2,304 homes in settlements and outposts, of which 838 received final approval for construction. Close to 200 of the planned homes will be located in outposts considered “illegal”.

The Gush Etzion Regional Council Head, Shlomo Neeman, said in response that, “this is huge news for the south-east of Gush Etzion, to Jewish settlements in the Judean Desert and to the entire settlement movement.”

Peace Now condemned to new housing plans, calling it “a part of the destructive policy set to prevent a peaceful solution and the two-state solution and bring about the annexation of the West bank.”

For further reading click here.

Greek’s Sue
The Greek Orthodox Church on Monday filed a new lawsuit in Jerusalem District Court against the Ateret Cohanim organization in a bid to overturn a Supreme Court decision upholding the sale of three properties in predominantly Arab parts of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Supreme Court in June upheld the 99 year leasing of two Palestinian-run hotels — Imperial and Petra — located near the Jaffa Gate, and another building near Herod’s Gate to Ateret Cohanim. The Church claims that Ateret Cohanim falsified documents and bribed the official who agreed to the sales.

Ateret Cohanim plans to vacate the current residents of the buildings and replace them with Jewish inhabitants.

For further reading click here.

Iran Coalition
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz on Tuesday revealed to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel is taking part in a coalition led by the United States to secure the Persian Gulf.

For further reading click here.

Temple Mount
An Israeli police officer was injured this morning, after he was attacked by a member of the Waqf, the organization that administers the Temple Mount. The incident occurred when several officers told a Waqf official that they wanted to bring him in for questioning.
The Waqf official refused and attacked the officers. One police officer was lightly injured.
During the scuffle, the Waqf official was also injured.

For further reading click here.

No Unity
PM Netanyahu pledged today that he will not form a unity government with the left. In a column published in the Israel Hayom newspaper, Netanyahu wrote, “My commitment is clear: To establish a strong right-wing government after the elections, which will continue to lead the State of Israel to unprecedented achievements and safeguard Israeli citizens.” He added, “This is my commitment to Likud voters. There will be no unity government.”

For further reading click here.

Space X
SpaceX successfully launched Israeli communication satellite Amos-17 into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last night. the company says that the 6.5-ton, high-power HTS satellite will provide extensive C-band HTS, Ka-band and Ku-band capabilities to meet Africa’s fast-growing communication demands. It will offer increased connectivity between Africa, the Middle East, India, China and as far west as Brazil.

Spacecom says Amos-17 is planned to be in operation for a minimum of 20 years. The company currently has a sales backlog valued at $58 million for communications services to the African market via the satellite, including with Nigeria-based broadcaster IDS Africa, and expects to sign additional large deals in the future.

For further reading click here.

Palestinian Waze
A new Palestinian app called Doroob Navigator is meant to help Palestinian drivers in the West Bank negotiate traffic at Israeli military checkpoints and uncover routes to towns mainstream providers often miss. Doroob Navigator crowd-sources road closures and traffic data from users. It aims to supplant apps like Google Maps and Waze, which rarely account for Israeli restrictions and struggle to navigate between Palestinian cities.

For further reading click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-2-2019

Terror Attack
Yesterday an IDF officer was moderately wounded and two other soldiers lightly wounded after a terrorist breached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and opened fire at IDF troops. The IDF said the terrorist, Hani Abu Salah, who was killed during a shoot-out with the soldiers, belonged to a Hamas unit responsible for restraining border violence along the security fence. The IDF shelled a Hamas outpost near the border in response to the attack.

The attack occurred in the area where IDF is currently constructing an underground barrier along the border in order to prevent the terror group from building cross-border attack tunnels.

According to sources in Gaza, the terrorist’s border was killed by Israeli sniper fire during mass protests in the Strip in May 2018.

For further reading click here.

Voting Cameras
The Likud Party is requesting the chairman of the Central Election Committee, Judge Hanan Melcer to allow cameras in polling stations in the Israeli Arab sector after they claim voting law violations had occurred in the last elections.

On election day last April, Judge Melcer was alerted to the fact that Likud party activists placed 1,200 cameras in polling stations in Israeli Arab cities and towns.

Though the law is not clear, Melcer had already allowed audio recordings in poling locations but has not allowed any filming inside the voting booth, except under special circumstances.
 
It was entirely forbidden to film voter lists or protocols but registration of voters as they arrive at the stations, present their I.D cards and receive an envelope in which to place their ballots, was permissible.
Likud is pressing to be allowed to film these procedures again claiming it will prevent illegal acts.

The Likud representative in the election committee David Bitan, claimed after the April 9 vote that violations of the law occurred, alleging that husbands voted on behalf of their wives and that voters were threatened as they arrived to place their ballot.

Israeli media reported earlier this week that the Likud budget for cameras in Arab sector polling stations has been increased to NIS 2 million, and that there is a plan in place to employ hundreds of “observers” on election day and have even sent a request to the Israel Police asking for protection for them on the day.

Supporters of the Likud initiative suggest the presence of cameras will deter those trying to sway the elections, while opponents insist this move besmirches an entire sector of the population and even keeps voters who are suspicious of authorities from exercising their rights.
 
For further reading click here.

Some Perspective
Just to add some perspective to the Middle East, Saudi Arabia published new laws early Friday that loosen restrictions on women by allowing any citizen to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing guardianship policy that gave men control over women.

Still in place, however, are rules that require male consent for a woman to leave prison, exit a domestic abuse shelter or marry. Women, unlike men, still cannot pass on citizenship to their children and cannot provide consent for their children to marry.

[Maybe civil rights activists in the US Congress should be focusing countries other than Israel?]

For further reading click here.

Jlo Rocks
Jennifer Lopez performed in Israel Thursday evening as part of her global It’s My Party tour celebrating her 50th birthday. Go Jlo!

For further reading click here.