Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-21-2020

News Update

To listen to an audio version click here. (for supporters)

A female terrorist shouting “Allahu Akbar” attempted to stab people walking on the promenade in the Armon Hanetziv neighborhood of Jerusalem today. The terrorist was overpowered and disarmed by other civilians in the area. No one was seriously hurt.

One of the 11 Israeli passengers of a cruise ship quarantined in Japan who just returned to Israel has been diagnosed with the Corona virus and is being quarantined at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv. The other 10 are also in quarantine. Four other Israelis who contracted the virus remain hospitalized in Japan. According to the World Health Organization, over half of the corona virus cases outside of China were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

PM Netanyahu announced plans for the construction of 4,000 homes in east Jerusalem. 3,000 of the homes will be built in the new Jewish neighborhood of Givat HaMatos, near Har Homa. The other 1,000 will be for Palestinians in the town of Beit Safafa. The PM also announced the expansion of the neighborhood of Har Homa, with an additional 2,200 homes. The construction plans were originally submitted 8 years ago, but were halted due to international pressure.

The trade crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority seems to have abated. The Palestinians have begun accepting Israeli beef exports and Israel is allowing Palestinian agricultural exports. Back to normal.

In an effort to win votes in the Ethiopian community ahead of the upcoming election, PM Netanyahu has promised to bring to Israel 8,000 Ethiopians of Jewish descent who have been waiting to be allowed in, and 400 of them within the next few weeks. However, only 43 will actually arrive in the next week, due to government health restrictions.

The Ethiopians are part of the Falash Mura, who were converted to Christianity during the 19th century and early 20th century. Many of them have relatives in Israel. The ultra-orthodox parties have reluctantly agreed to allow 400 of them into Israel, but not the 8,000 promised by the PM. Blue and White leader Gantz has promised to bring them all to Israel if elected.

Audio for 2-21-2020

This content is for IsraelAM supporters.

To become a supporter, simply make a donation by clicking here.

We will email you your password.

(all supporters were already emailed their passwords)

If you mailed in a donation or have not received your password, please send us an email letting us know so we can send you your password.

To access content please enter your password below:

Show password

Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-19-2020

News Update

To listen to an audio version click here. (for supporters)

Israel announced that it will extend the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza to 15 nautical miles and issue an additional 2,000 entry permits to Palestinian merchants in Gaza, raising the total number to an unprecedented 7,000. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said the decision to ease the restrictions on Gaza stems from the recent relative quiet on the southern border. But he warned that all previous sanctions would be restored if the rocket and balloon attacks resume.

Meanwhile, today IDF troops in Israel were fired upon by a group of Islamic Jihad terrorists in Khan Yunis, in the southern part of Gaza. The troops returned fire, wounding one terrorist. No Israelis were hurt.

The IDF is forming a directorate that will focus exclusively on countering Iran. The move is part of a massive restructuring going on at the IDF, to make the force more effective.

PM Netanyahu has challenged Blue and White leader Gantz to a televised debate. Gantz dismissed the challenge as an attempt to distract the public from Netanyahu’s corruption trial, which begins on March 17th. Gantz said, “Netanyahu has been refusing to debate for ten years now and suddenly, the same day his trial was announced, he wants a debate. He’ll have a debate with the prosecutor in court.”

Israel has banned the entry of non-nationals who have visited Thailand, Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong in the past two weeks, in an attempt to curb the spread of the corona virus. Twelve Israelis who were quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan will be returning to Israel, where they will be quarantined again for an additional 14 days. Three Israelis from that ship were diagnosed with the virus and hospitalized in Japan.

A cold front that has swept through Israel in the past 24 hours intensified today with showers and thunderstorms set to hit most parts of the country. Rainfall is expected to continue until Thursday afternoon when it will cease for over 24 hours and resume again on Saturday.

The Kinneret is reported to be just 1 meter short of its maximum level. When the lake is full, the dam at the southern end of the lake near Kibbutz Deganya will be opened, allowing the water to flow down the River Jordan to the Dead Sea.

Audio for 2-19-2020

This content is for IsraelAM supporters.

To become a supporter, simply make a donation by clicking here.

We will email you your password.

(all supporters were already emailed their passwords)

If you mailed in a donation or have not received your password, please send us an email letting us know so we can send you your password.

To access content please enter your password below:

Show password

Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-14-2020

News Update

To listen to an audio version click here. (for supporters)

Syrian state-run media reported that Syrian missile defense batteries engaged missiles over Damascus that were fired from Israel late last night, and intercepted several of them. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that seven people were killed in the attack that targeted Iranian-backed militias in the area between the Damascus international airport and the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood, south of the capital. When asked about the attack, PM Netanyahu said that perhaps it was Belgium.

A US Navy ship boarded a boat in the Arabian Sea earlier this week and seized more than 150 Iranian-made anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a list of more than 100 companies it says are operating in the Israeli settlements. The list includes the major Israeli banks, telecom and cable companies. It also includes major US and European companies. Israeli leaders as well as the White House and members of Congress condemned the publication of the list. If the companies on the list do end up being boycotted, the people that will end up suffering will be the Palestinian workers, who have good paying jobs at those companies.

PM Netanyahu announced that he would appoint former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat as his next Finance Minister, if he ends up forming a government.

According to figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, 32,456 new homes were bought in 2019, 42% more than in 2018. The leading city in new homes purchased was Ramat Gan with 1,583, followed by Herzliya and Tel Aviv. Around 45% of those home purchases were subsidized under the Buyer Fixed Price Plan, which helps facilitate the purchase of a first apartment with preferential terms.

Audio for 2-14-2020

This content is for IsraelAM supporters.

To become a supporter, simply make a donation by clicking here.

We will email you your password.

(all supporters were already emailed their passwords)

If you mailed in a donation or have not received your password, please send us an email letting us know so we can send you your password.

To access content please enter your password below:

Show password

Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-12-2020

News Update

To listen to an audio version click here. (for supporters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held a joint press conference in New York on Tuesday, where they denounced the Trump Middle East peace plan. When he was Prime Minister, Olmert had negotiated with Abbas and had offered the Palestinians just about everything they ever wanted — but the offer was rejected.

Yesterday, Olmert called Abbas “a man of peace, he is opposed to terror and therefore he is the only partner that we can build [peace] with.” He added, “It is important to listen not only to the negative side of the Palestinian president but also to the positive side.”

Abbas said that he would love to pick up negotiations where he left off with Olmert. PM Netanyahu labeled the press conference as “a low point in Israel’s history.”

Earlier in the day Abbas made his case against peace in an address before the UN Security Council, while thousands of Palestinians staged demonstrations in the West Bank against the peace plan.

Blue & White leader Benny Gantz said yesterday that he would not include the Arab Joint List in any government he forms. Gantz said, “I’ve made it clear in the past and I repeat: I am not afraid to speak to any legitimate political party, but the Joint List will not be part of the government I will establish. My disagreements with the party’s leadership on national and security issues are unbridgeable.”

PM Netanyahu responded that without the support of the Joint List, Gantz would be unable to form a government. The Joint List is projected to win between 13 and 15 Knesset seats.

Both Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennet pledged that their party Yamina would not join a Gantz led government.

According to Al-Quds newspaper, which is affiliated with the Fatah movement, Hamas has ordered all terror cells to stop incendiary balloon attacks against Israel. This comes after a meeting in Gaza between the Hamas leadership and Egyptian mediators trying to negotiate a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
The former Prime Minister of Qatar tweeted that the Gulf States would soon sign a non-aggression pact with Israel. It might also include Morocco.

Audio for 2-12-2020

This content is for IsraelAM supporters.

To become a supporter, simply make a donation by clicking here.

We will email you your password.

(all supporters were already emailed their passwords)

If you mailed in a donation or have not received your password, please send us an email letting us know so we can send you your password.

To access content please enter your password below:

Show password

Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-10-2020

News Update

To listen to an audio version click here. (for supporters)

A cold weather front that hit Israel over the weekend is set to continue today. Snow storms have been raging in northern parts of the country since the morning hours. Temperatures have also fallen below freezing in the mountainous areas of northern and central Israel. Rain will fall in many other parts of the country, including the Negev. Temperatures in Jerusalem will be just above freezing today.

Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett warned Hamas that Israel might resort to targeted killings if the terror group continues to launch attacks on Israeli communities bordering Gaza. Over the past couple of weeks, rocket fire from Gaza followed by IDF retaliatory strikes have become almost a daily occurrence.

As PM Netanyahu promises to annex Israeli areas of Judea and Samaria in the very near future, US Ambassador David Friedman, a staunch supporter of the settlement movement, tweeted yesterday:

“As we have stated, the application of Israeli law to the territory which the plan provides to be part of Israel is subject to the completion a mapping process by a joint Israeli-American committee. Any unilateral action in advance of the completion of the committee process endangers the plan and American recognition.

This echos the position articulated by Jared Kushner. and other senior US officials. Shortly after the Trump peace plan was revealed, Friedman had said that Israel can “annex settlements at any time.” That no longer seems to be the case.

Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) announced that it has been awarded contracts worth $136 million to provide customers in the Asia-Pacific region with airborne laser Direct Infra-Red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems.

Today is Tu Bishvat (the 15th day in the Hebrew month of Shvat), which marks the new year for trees. It marks the time when the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. It also represents the idea that renewal and redemption begins even in the darkest times. Tu Bishvat is marked by eating fruit of the Land of Israel, including dates, figs, pomegranates, grapes, olives, as well as wheat and barley.

To read more about the holiday and the different ways to commemorate and celebrate the day, check out the tons of content offered by our partner The Israel Forever Foundation. Click here.

Audio for 2-10-2020

This content is for IsraelAM supporters.

To become a supporter, simply make a donation by clicking here.

We will email you your password.

(all supporters were already emailed their passwords)

If you mailed in a donation or have not received your password, please send us an email letting us know so we can send you your password.

To access content please enter your password below:

Show password