Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-30-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 5,583 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the second day in a row with over 5,000 new daily infections. There are currently 40,929 recorded infections, with 609 people hospitalized in serious condition and 154 on ventilators. There have been 3,292 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The country entered a nationwide 2 week lockdown on Sunday.

Over 650,000 Israelis have already been vaccinated.

Syrian state media reported yesterday that Israel attacked a military target near Damascus. According to the U.K. based International Observatory for Human Rights, the targets of the attack were installations belonging to Hezbollah as well as a Syrian air defense installation. One person was reportedly killed and 3 wounded.

Various terrorist groups in Gaza conducted a joint exercise yesterday in which they launched 8 rockets into the sea. The exercise was reportedly organized by Iran, as a show of force to Israel.

Long-time Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai is launching a new Center-Left party called “The Israelis”. His number 2 man on the party list is Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, who left the Blue & White party earlier on Tuesday. Huldai, 76, said his party will work to safeguard democracy and the justice system, create socially-minded reforms, care for small businesses, women’s and minorities’ rights, and oppose religious coercion, rampant violence in the Arab community and pushes to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.

Jonathan Pollard, who spent 3 decades in a US federal prison for spying for Israel, arrived in Israel today with his wife, on a private jet owned by Sheldon Adelson. He was greeted by PM Netanyahu, who handed the couple Israeli identity cards and joined them in prayer to give thanks for their safe arrival. The couple will live in Jerusalem.

There are media reports that the PM is considering giving Pollard a spot on the Likud party list that would guarantee him a seat in the Knesset. Other right-wing parties are also considering adding Pollard to their list of candidates.

Audio for 12-30-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-28-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 3,498 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. There are currently  590 people hospitalized in serious condition and 144 on ventilators. There have been 3,226 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The country entered a nationwide 2 week lockdown on Sunday. However, schools remain open.

Over 379,000 Israelis have already been vaccinated. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Israel is now among the leading countries in the number of vaccines administered.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told Lebanese television, that the terror group has twice as many precision-guided missiles as it had a year ago and the capability to strike anywhere in Israel.

An Israeli submarine has reportedly gone through the Suez Canal, with Egyptian approval, and is making its way to the Persian Gulf in a show of force towards Iran.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are reportedly working together to terminate the United Nations special agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). After the US stopped funding the organization in 2018, UNRWA has relied on the Gulf States for funding. But the UAE has not transferred any funds this year.

A Moroccan diplomatic delegation landed in Israel yesterday. The delegation will work towards reopening the Moroccan liaison office in Tel Aviv, which it has held onto for the past 20 years since Rabat cut official ties. Israel has also retained its closed office in Morocco.

According to the latest election poll, if elections were held today, the Likud party would drop to 28 seats from the 36 it currently holds, and Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party would win 19. The third-largest party would be Yesh Atid, with 16 seats, followed by Yamina with 13. The Joint List would win 11 seats, Shas and UTJ would win 8 seats apiece, Yisrael Beytenu would win 7, and Meretz and Blue & White would each win 5 seats. Elections are scheduled for late March.

Audio for 12-28-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-23-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 3,251 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. There are currently 28,960 active cases of which 503 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 117 on ventilators. There have been 3,136 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

PM Netanyahu and DM Gantz have reportedly agreed to impose another 2 or 3 week lockdown for the entire country to contain the virus. The coronavirus cabinet will meet today to debate and vote on the proposal. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Israelis continue to receive vaccinations.

The 23rd Knesset automatically dissolved at midnight after a new State Budget Law for 2020 was unable to pass. New elections will be held on March 23. It will be Israel’s fourth election in just two years. To read more, click here.

The IDF is adding additional troops to offer more protection to settlements and ensure safety on major roads in the West Bank, in the wake of the brutal murder of Esther Horgan on Sunday. Horgan, a 52 year old mother of 6, was laid to rest on Tuesday. Security forces are searching for her killers.

An Israeli delegation, led by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and accompanied by US envoy Jared Kushner, arrived in Morocco yesterday on the first direct flight by a commercial plane from Tel Aviv to Rabat. During the visit, Ben-Shabbat and Kushner met with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and other Moroccan officials. Both sides signed a series of accords on linking up aviation and financial systems, on visas and water management.

Audio for 12-23-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-21-2020

News Update

The Health Ministry reported 2,821 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, indicating a 4.1% positivity rate. There are currently 25,000 active cases of which 456 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 117 on ventilators. There have been 3,101 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The coronavirus cabinet voted on Sunday to require all arrivals from the U.K., Denmark and South Africa to quarantine in government-operated coronavirus hotels to prevent the spread of a new, mutated strain of coronavirus recently discovered in these countries. The cabinet is meeting today to decide whether to shut down Ben Gurion airport to all incoming flights for 2 weeks. PM Netanyahu is pushing for all arrivals from abroad to be required to quarantine and that all non-Israelis be banned from entering Israel.

Yesterday, 10,000 healthcare workers were vaccinated in Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin also got vaccinated. Israelis over 60 began receiving vaccinations today. Ultra-Orthodox leaders, including Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and major Chassidic rebbes, are urging their communities to get vaccinated.

Early today, the body of Esther Hogan, a 52-year-old mother of six, was found in a forest near her home in the settlement of Tal Menashe in Samaria (West Bank). She left her home for a jog on Sunday afternoon and searches for her were launched later in the day when she did not return. Security officials are calling the murder a terror attack, and security forces are hunting for the terrorists.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-18-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 2,809 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. There are currently 22,258 active cases of which 419 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 105 on ventilators. There have been 3,050 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The coronavirus cabinet will meet on Sunday to discuss closures.

Israelis are booking appointments to begin receiving the vaccine beginning on Dec. 21st. The first to be vaccinated will be front line healthcare workers, followed by the elderly and those at-risk. The PM, President and IDF Chief of Staff will be among the first to be vaccinated — to set an example for the general public.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. The general visited Israel as part of a larger visit to the region.

Yamina leader Naftali Bennet rejected an offer from PM Netanyahu to join with Likud in forming a narrow right-wing government and avoid elections. Netanyahu offered Bennet the defense ministry and 2 other senior portfolios.

Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. has been awarded a $332 million contract to provide the Swiss army with a tactical mobile software defined radio (SDR) network solution.

Israel’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef is in the UAE. During his 4 day visit, he will preside over the inauguration of the newly certified Jewish nursery school and, in a special ceremony, invest Rabbi Levi Duchman as Rabbi of the Emirati Jewish community. The chief rabbi will also break ground on the community’s planned mikveh (ritual immersion pool), tour the new KAF kosher restaurant in the Burj Khalifa, inspect the production of kosher poultry locally, and dedicate a new community synagogue in Abu Dhabi.

On this 8th and final day of Hanukkah, please consider clicking the Donate button below.

Happy Hanukkah and Shabbat Shalom!

Audio for 12-18-2020

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Audio for 12-16-2020

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