Israel news summary

Israel News for 11-7-2019

News Update

Democratic congressman from Michigan Andy Levin (who is Jewish), on a tour of the West Bank earlier this week, said he was enraged by the situation in Susya, where Palestinian villagers are denied water access, while Jewish settlers nearby are granted government-supplied amenities. Israel has several times in the past demolished Palestinian buildings in Susya, saying they were built without permits. Levin also praised the “resilience” of the Palestinian villagers.

Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman said that his organization (Israel’s internal anti terror security force) has thwarted over 480 major terror attacks in the past year, and arrested over 500 terrorists. He also said that the Shin Bet stopped numerous cyber attacks against Israel. Argaman said, “The reality is very complex. We can say that on the surface we observe relative calm, but we must emphasize that this is on the surface – Hamas is trying with all its might to carry out terrorist attacks from Judea and Samaria with guidance from the Gaza Strip, Turkey and Lebanon.”

The Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Committee has confirmed a very large urban renewal project in Bat Yam. The plan is based on a demolition and reconstruction project in the Ramat Hanasi neighborhood in the west of the city, which would see 424 existing apartments replaced by 1,728 housing units. The project also includes thousands of square meters in commercial space, public buildings and open space.

According to traffic app Waze, Tel Aviv is the world’s fourth most traffic congested city. First place goes to Manilla, followed by Bogota and Jakarta. Sao Paulo came in fifth.

Professor Uri Marinov, the founder and director of the Environmental Protection Service (EPS) and the first Director General of the Ministry of Environmental Defense, is warning that rising sea levels caused by climate change will cause major flooding in Tel Aviv and other Israeli coastal cities and towns. He said, “The question is whether it will happen in the next five or ten years, and what will be the scale of the flood. If we don’t take the necessary measures right away, the coastal region will indeed be flooded.”

Israel news summary

Israel News for 11-5-2019

News Update

Israel’s Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a lower court that allowed the government to not renew the working visa of Omar Shakir, the local director of Human Rights Watch. The government claims that Shakir is supporting the international BDS movement, which promotes boycotting Israel. An Israeli law from 2017 bars entry to those who publicly support a boycott of Israel or its West Bank settlements. Shakir, a US citizen, will need to leave Israel within 20 days.

Jordan will return its ambassador to Israel in the next few days, after the two countries reached an agreement to release two Jordanian citizens being held in administrative detention in Israel. Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, said that both detainees had been suspected of security offenses. Their release, approved by the Shin Bet and the PM, is seen as a goodwill gesture.

Annexation Moves: Likud MK Sharren Haskel is preparing a bill that would require Israel to annex the Jordan Valley area. New Right leader Ayelet Shaked, on Sunday, proposed legislation for the annexation of the Gush Etzion block and Ma’aleh Adumim.

The Housing Cabinet has approved the Ministry of Tourism’s plan for a cable car to Jerusalem’s Western Wall from the old railway station. The cable car will travel over 1.4 kilometers and there will be 73 cars with the capacity to transport 3,000 people in each direction.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 11-1-2019

News Update

The Israeli Air Force will host a massive international exercise called “Blue Flag”, from Sunday to Thursday. The exercise will be hosted at the Ovda air base in southern Israel and will include over 1,000 air crews and personnel from Israel, Germany, Italy, Greece and the US.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will soon test its version of Air Force One. The Boeing 767-300 was converted into a “head of state” plane over 3 years and at a cost of over NIS 700 million. The plane will be able to fly non-stop to the Far East and the US. Advanced encoded communications systems are installed on the aircraft in order to enable a president or prime minister to maintain continuous contact with various parties when the plane is airborne and far from the country’s borders. [No more chartered El Al flights!]

Blue and White leader Gantz met with the leaders of the Arab Joint List on Thursday as part of his efforts to form a coalition government. Arab MKs expressed satisfaction with the discussion, which revolved primarily around social and financial issues effecting the Arab community. They look forward to further meetings.

Jason Greenblatt on Thursday officially completed his term as US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East. Avi Berkowitz, a 30 year old Orthodox Jew from Lawrence (Long Island) who met Jared Kushner at a Passover getaway in Arizona many years ago, is expected to take over most of Greenblatt’s duties.

A British production company with an Israeli branch is developing a TV series based on the live of PM Netanyahu, based on the biography by Ben Caspit. [Look out]