Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-31-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 1,102 new coronavirus cases yesterday, based on a significant drop in testing. There are currently 20,334 active cases of which 453 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 123 on ventilators. There have been 922 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Cabinet ministers have approved a plan to divide the country into 250 zones where regulations would be imposed depending on the levels of infection in each zone.

An El Al flight from Tel Aviv landed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, today carrying Israeli and American officials including senior White House aide Jared Kushner. The plane flew through Saudi Arabian airspace. Before boarding the flight Kushner said, “While this is a historic flight, we hope that it will start an even more historic journey in the Middle East and beyond. The future does not have to be predetermined by the past. This is a very hopeful time, and I believe that so much peace and prosperity is possible in this region and around the world.”

The Israeli, American and UAE delegations will discuss diplomacy, finance, aviation and entry visas, health, culture and tourism, space and science and investment, innovation and trade.

Meanwhile, shortly before the Israeli plane landed, at least three people were killed and several others injured in two separate explosions in the United Arab Emirate cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. has been awarded a contract worth $79 million to supply the US army with components for the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Audio for 8-31-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-28-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 2,068 new coronavirus cases yesterday. There are currently 20,444 active cases of which 426 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 118 on ventilators. There have been 891 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic, of which 89 were in the last week.

Hamas its Covid lockdown in Gaza to 72 hours.

Hundreds of Israel’s rushed to the airport to fly to the Ukraine ahead of a Friday, Covid related, ban by the Ukrainian government. Each year tens of thousands of Israelis and other Jews flock to the Ukrainian town of Uman for Rosh Hashanah to pray at the grave of Rebbe Nachman, an 18th century Hassidic master who promised blessings for all who pray at his grave on the Jewish New Year. Many would-be pilgrims say that they will find other ways to get to Uman.  [This could end badly]

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein issued new regulations on Wednesday aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by an estimated 50% while making it easier for doctors to prescribe the plant to patients. Recreational use remains illegal, but last month the Ministerial Committee for Legislation passed two decriminalization bills, potentially opening the path for full legalization of cannabis.

El Al will fly the first ever commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi (UAE) next week. The flight will carry an Israeli delegation that conduct normalization talks between Israel and the UAE.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-26-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 1,943 new coronavirus cases yesterday. There are currently 20,581 active cases of which 430 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 118 on ventilators. There have been 867 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Hamas declared a 48 hour lockdown in Gaza, after one man died of Covid and several others tested positive for the virus.

A 35-year-old man was stabbed and seriously wounded at the Segula junction in Petah Tikva today. Police arrested the suspected assailant and are investigating the circumstances of the incident.

IDF attack helicopters and aircraft struck observation posts belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon last night after shots were fired at Israeli troops patrolling the border area. Early Wednesday, the military ordered residents living in communities near the border with Lebanon to shelter in place and blocked roads following what it described as a “security incident” in the area.

Israeli officials estimate that Hezbollah possesses 130,000 rockets and missiles capable of striking virtually anywhere in Israel, and has gained valuable battlefield experience fighting alongside Iranian troops in Syria.

PM Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to continue military coordination in Syria to allow for Israeli airstrikes there. Israel and Russia will also cooperate in research and production of a coronavirus vaccine.

Audio for 8-26-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-24-2020

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The Health Ministry reported 962 new coronavirus cases yesterday. There are currently 21,914 active cases of which 411 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 116 on ventilators. There have been 839 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Minister of Immigrant Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White) has tested positive for Covid and will be quarantined. The Knesset is investigating to determine who else the minister came into contact with. Tamano-Shata, 39, is Israel’s first Ethiopian-born minister.

The Knesset Finance Committee today approved the bill to postpone the deadline for a budget to be presented, after Likud and Blue & White reached agreements to avoid elections. The bill will now be sent to the Knesset for a vote later today. If it doesn’t pass, the Knesset will be dissolved and new elections will be called for.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with PM Netanyahu in Jerusalem today. Pompeo will also meet with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. After Israel, Pompeo is scheduled to visit Sudan, the UAE and Bahrain, with additional stops in the Gulf possible.

Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani told his party yesterday that he rejected any normalization of relations with Israel. Jared Kushner is expected to visit Morocco in the coming days. Kushner will also visit Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

IDF aircraft and tanks attacked Hamas military positions and underground infrastructure in southern Gaza late Sunday in response to the launching of incendiary devices across the border, which caused 28 fires.

Audio for 8-24-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-21-2020

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The Health Ministry reported 1,267 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. There are currently 23,913 active cases of which 389 people are hospitalized in serious condition. There have been 789 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Coronavirus chief Prof. Gamzu has recommended a series of added restrictions, including partial lockdowns, but coronavirus cabinet ministers, particularly those from the religious parties, have rejected them.

Twelve rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza last night, and the IDF responded by attacking Hamas military targets in Gaza including underground facilities, a rocket-building site, and a cement facility used to provide materials to build tunnels. One person was reportedly killed. Of the 12 rockets launched into Israel, 9 were intercepted by Iron Dome and the rest fell in open areas.

According to a report by Israel Hayom today, Hamas is demanding Israel expand the fishing area allotted to Gaza fishing boats, and to allow an expansion of the payments allowed into Gaza from Qatar from $30 million to $40 million per month. The IDF is preparing for an escalation of the violence.

IDF troops opened fire on a “terror squad” of Palestinians who were preparing to attack Israeli cars in the West Bank. One terrorist was killed and 2 wounded. The shooting occurred at a spot where similar attacks against Israeli vehicles have been carried out in the past.

PM Netanyahu held a video call with the leaders of the Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Yes, there is a Jewish community in the UAE, which was formed 10 years ago in Dubai and numbers anywhere between a few hundred to 1,500 people. There are 2 Orthodox congregations and 1 egalitarian. The community has been operating unofficially, but has recently been obtaining official approval.

On the call, the PM said, “This peace is good for the State Israel, good for our people and good for all peoples of the region. I hope to visit you this year, soon. If we can overcome the coronavirus pandemic I’ll be able to shake your hands too.”

Audio for 8-21-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-19-2020

News Update

The Health Ministry reported 1,644 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. There are currently 23,779 active cases of which 401 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 118 on ventilators. There have been 719 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Sudanese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Haidar Badawi Sadiq said on Tuesday that the Sudan is in the midst of peace talks with Israel, and that Sudan does not believe there is reason to the continued hostilities between the two states. He said, “Israel and Sudan will both benefit from a peace agreement.” PM Netanyahu welcomed the remarks and said, “People are tired of extremism, people want to see a better future. I think that soon more countries will sign a peace agreement and eventually the Palestinians will as well.”

Last February, Netanyahu met with the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan in the Ugandan city of Entebbe. During the meeting, Netanyahu and al-Burhan agreed to begin collaboration that would lead to normalization between their two countries. Israeli planes have been allowed to fly over Sudanese airspace over the last few months.

The Sudanese foreign ministry subsequently has denied that any talks have been ongoing between Sudan and Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Abbas referred to the peace accord between Israel and the UAE as “nonsense” and accused the UAE of turning its back on Palestinians living under occupation.

As part of the Israel-UAE agreement, the US will reportedly sell F-35s — the most advanced fighter jet — to the UAE. But Prime Minister’s Office insists that Israel has not agreed to the sale of F-35s to the UAE.

Terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel yesterday, which landed in an open area and caused no damage. In response, Israeli fighter jets attacked a number of sites belonging to Hamas in central and southern Gaza. Israel had reportedly rejected Hamas conditions for a cessation of attacks, just hours before the attack.