Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-30-2021

News Update

PM Bennett left Washington for Israel yesterday, after meeting with President Biden on Friday. The PM said, “Biden and I have stroke up a direct and personal bond built on trust. We have achieved all the goals we have set out for ourselves and beyond.” He said that they had agreed on a joint strategic work plan to impede Iran’s attempts to obtain nuclear arms.

For the past 2 nights, dozens of Palestinians staged violent protests along the Israeli-Gaza border fence. On Saturday night, in response to the violence, Israeli warplanes carried out a series of attacks against Hamas targets in Gaza.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah yesterday. Gantz told Abbas that Israel would take measures to strengthen the Palestinian economy. The two discussed various security and economic related matters. However, a source close to PM Bennett said today that “there is no diplomatic process with the Palestinians, nor will there be one.”

The Health Ministry today reported 6,576 new corona cases on Sunday, with an infection rate of 7.81. At least 752 patients are in severe condition, of whom 156 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,958. On Sunday, Israel approved the third coronavirus vaccine booster shot for anyone who has been fully vaccinated for at least five months.


Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-27-2021

News Update

PM Bennett’s meeting with President Biden was postponed until later today, due to the terror attack in Kabul. The PM expressed his condolence to President Biden over the phone. On Wednesday the PM met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Both reiterated the US commitment to Israel’s security.

Israel announced on Wednesday that it will allow more imports into Gaza, including new cars, commercial goods and equipment for civilian projects. It will also issue more permits for Gazan merchants to enter Israel. The move comes after a protest on Wednesday along the Israel-Gaza border, in which hundreds of Palestinians called for an easing of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Hamas operatives kept protestors away from the Israeli security fence, preventing violent outbreaks.

The Health Ministry today reported 8,078 new corona cases on Thursday, with an infection rate of 6.7. At least 689 patients are in severe condition, of whom 149 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,943.

The IDF will be vacating 3 bases by the end of this year, near Haifa, Petah Tikva and Rishon Letziyon. To read more, click here. 

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-25-2021

News Update

IDF warplanes struck Hamas targets in Gaza, including a weapons production facility and a rocket launch site, on Tuesday in response to incendiary balloons launched from Gaza on Monday that causes nine fires. One teen was reportedly killed in the strikes. Hamas has reportedly promised to stop the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza, following talks with Egyptian mediators.

The IDF deployed additional troops to the Gaza border, ahead of planned demonstrations on the Gaza side. An Israeli Border Policeman was shot in the head during a violent demonstration over the weekend.

IDF troops came under attack in Nablus, during an arrest raid yesterday. Palestinians fired shots and dropped large boulders from rooftops. Soldiers fired at the attackers, including one teen who was about to drop a boulder on the head of the unit commander. The teen was killed.

PM Bennett is in Washington to meet with President Biden. Ahead of the meeting, Bennett told the NYTimes that Israel must form a regional coalition against Iran in cooperation with the US. He said he will present Biden with a plan to contain Iran on all fronts, including imposing new economic sanctions, mobilizing international pressure and continuing Israel’s clandestine campaign against Iran’s nuclear arms program.

The United Nations human rights office expressed concern over the arrests of peaceful demonstrators by Palestinian Authority security forces. The UN body said it was “deeply concerned at continuing pressure on those seeking to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in Palestine.” A statement from the European Union representative in Jerusalem also condemned the weekend arrests, which it said had come “against the backdrop of reports of an increase in apparently politically motivated arrests by the Palestinian Authority over the past few months.”

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the premier leaders of the Haredi community, said, “Teachers and educators who have not been vaccinated must not come to teach. Vaccines are a godsend and must be taken to prevent Bitul Torah [wasting time that could be spent on religious studies] and illness. “Every person should try to watch themselves in every way so as not to infect or get infected…and to adhere to the health regulations.”

The Health Ministry today reported 9,891 new corona cases on Tuesday, with an infection rate of 6.69, the highest rate since the start of the current wave of infections. At least 692 patients are in severe condition, of whom 129 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,880.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a deal worth €200 million to supply new radars to the German Navy.

Israel is the world’s most expensive country in which to buy a Tesla S electric vehicle. The basic version of the Tesla S, which costs a customer in the US $91,000 (as of today following the most recent price increase), costs a customer in Israel about $166,000 including all taxes. To find out why the price difference, click here.

Arab Israeli swimmer Iyad Shalabi won a gold medal today at the 2020 Paralympics Games in Tokyo. Culture and Sports Minister Yehiel Moshe “Hili” Tropper was among the first to congratulate him.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-23-2021

News Update

Border Police Staff Sergent Barel Hadaria Shmueli, 21, was wounded on Saturday when he was shot in the head with a pistol from point-blank range through a gap in the Gaza border wall during violent demonstrations on the Gaza side. He was evacuated to hospital, where is his currently in critical condition. In response, the IDF attacked several Hamas targets in Gaza, including arms depots and manufacturing facilities. PM Bennett said yesterday that Israel “will settle the score with those who harm our troops and citizens.” Egypt today closed the Rafah border crossing on its border with Gaza. It will remain closed until further notice.

PM Bennett and a small delegation will visit Washington later this week to meet with President Biden. The PM said, “We will present a plan that we have spent months constructing to block Iran’s nuclear ambitions and their belligerence in the region.”

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked warned that her Yamina party will quit the government if coalition co-leader Yair Lapid works toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. Shaked was responding to an interview the foreign minister gave to public broadcaster Kan last week in which he stated that “a two-state solution could be advanced when the government rotates in two years’ time.”

Palestinian Authority police yesterday said they arrested 24 people protesting the government’s response to the death of Nizar Banat, a prominent political activist and outspoken critic of PA President Abbas, while in the custody of Palestinian security forces.

The Health Ministry today reported 6,469 new corona cases on Sunday, with an infection rate of 6.3, the highest rate since the start of the current wave of infections. At least 670 patients are in severe condition, of whom 108 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,830. The government announced that the school year will begin as planned, on September 1.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-20-2021

News Update

Syrian media reported an Israel airstrike in the Damascus area on Thursday.

Satellite images provided by NASA indicate that the massive wildfires in the Jerusalem hill were started by arsonists. Police are investigating.

Israel agreed to resume the transfer of Qatari funds to Gaza. According to the agreement reached, Qatar will send $100 allotments to 100,000 impoverished families in the strip, who will receive it by way of the international organization’s World Food Program. The families will be given a special rechargeable card with which they can withdraw the money from banks in Gaza. The grant will also include funding for the purchase of fuels from Israel to maintain the enclave’s sole power station operating. However, the agreement did not include salaries to Hamas clerks, estimated to be at millions of dollars a month. It is not clear yet whether Hamas will approve the agreement.

PM Bennett plans to meet with President Biden in Washington late next week. US Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “Prime Minister Bennett’s visit will strengthen the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel, reflect the deep ties between our governments and our people, and underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. The visit will also be an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians and the importance of working towards a more peaceful and secure future for the region.”

Hezbollah has organized shipments of oil from Iran to Lebanon, to help alleviate severe fuel shortages in the country caused by a massive financial and political crisis. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah warned the US and Israel not to interfere with the shipments.

The Health Ministry today reported 5,024 new corona cases on Thursday. At least 599 patients are in severe condition, of whom 104 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,748.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-18-2021

News Update

Syrian state media reported that Israeli missiles struck a Hezbollah military outpost that overlooks the Golan Heights, in the Quneitra province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Iranian-backed militias were operating from the site. Some sources claim that a precision missile production facility was at the site.

Fire and Rescue Services Commissioner Dedy Simhi announced Tuesday evening that the Jerusalem-area wildfire was finally contained. Around 1,500 firefighters and 20 aircraft took part in the effort to battle the fire in seven different locations. Over 6,000 acres of forest were destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of animals, including numerous species of reptiles, rodents, insects and hundreds of different species of mammals are believed to have perished in the fire. The fire chief said that it would likely take decades to replace what was lost.

On Monday, several rockets were launched from Gaza into southern Israel. On a visit to troops near the Gaza border, the PM said that Israel would respond to the rocket fire at “a time, place and conditions that suit us — and nobody else.”

Despite the rocket fire, Israel today approved the import of construction materials and other goods into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing. In addition, around 1,800 Gazan laborers and traders entered Israel for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Israeli security officials confirmed that there has been progress in indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, mediated by the United Nations, over the transfer of Qatari aid funds to Gaza. Israel has been withholding those funds.

Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel arrived in Israel today to meet with PM Bennett and DM Gantz on the continued efforts to reach a settlement with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

Jordan’s King Abdullah met with PA President Abbas and other PA officials in Amman this week. The meeting comes after a recent visit by Abdullah to Washington, where he met with President Biden. To read more, click here.

The Health Ministry today reported 7,832 new corona cases on Tuesday, putting the infection rate at 5.6%. At least 578 patients are in severe condition, of whom 104 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,708.

Researchers from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science are working on a new way to combat the coronavirus. To read more, click here.


Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-16-2021

News Update

Massive wildfires broke out in the Jerusalem hills yesterday. Some fires are still burning today. Over 17,000 dunams (420 acres) have been burned and 10,000 people have evacuated their homes. Some homes were burned. Fire and Rescue Commissioner Dedi Simchi said 12 firefighting planes were deployed, along with crews from around 60 fire engines.

An IDF special counterterrorism unit entered Jenin last night, disguised as Arabs, to arrest a wanted terror suspect. As they were leaving the city, a large number of terrorists, including snipers, attacked the unit with heavy gunfire from close range. The until returned fire, killing at least 4 terrorists. No Israeli casualties were reported.

The Health Ministry today reported 5,075 new corona cases on Sunday, putting the infection rate at 6.07%. At least 519 patients are in severe condition, of whom 92 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,668. Despite the increase in infections, the number of patients with severe conditions is dropping. The country is in the process of offering a third vaccine dose to those over 50. Close to a million people have already received their third dose.

Sahar Ismail, a senior adviser for Arab affairs in the Education Ministry and a member of the New Hope party (right wing) was shot to death yesterday outside his home in the village of Rameh in the Galilee. No motive has been discovered yet.

The first Israeli citizen was born in Dubai on Saturday. The little girl, Maya, is the daughter of Ilan Sztulman, the head of Israel’s consulate in Dubai. Mazal Tov!

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-11-2021

News Update

A Palestinian woman attacked IDF soldiers near Nablus (Shechem) on Monday. Soldiers stopped the attacker by shooting her in her lower body. No soldiers were hurt.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid landed in Rabat, Morocco today to kick off a 2 day visit. He is the first Israeli FM to visit the country in 18 years. Lapid will inaugurate Israel’s diplomatic mission in Rabat, visit Casablanca’s historic Temple Beth-El and hold talks with Moroccan FM Nasser Bourita. He will also meet with representatives of the local Jewish community. There are currently around 2,000 members of the Jewish community in Morocco. Prior to 1948 the community numbered around 250,000, many of whom emigrated to Israel.

Minister for Regional Cooperation Issawi Freij (Meretz) revealed that Israel was in contact with Saudi Arabia on issues related to Iran. Freij said that his personal dream as a Muslim was to go on pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, without having to travel through a third country, such as Jordan, in order to do so. He said, “I am convinced we will see such an opportunity soon.”

CIA Director William Burns held talks with PM Bennett in Jerusalem today. A statement released by the PM’s office said, “they discussed the situation in the Middle East, with emphasis on Iran, and possibilities for expanding and deepening regional cooperation”. The Director of the Mossad gave Burns an intelligence report warning that recently elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is mentally unstable and incapable of abiding by any international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Burns will also meet with PA President Abbas in Ramallah.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan yesterday demanded an immediate UN investigation into reports that the Hamas terror group prevented inspections of a recently uncovered attack tunnel under schools in the Gaza Strip operated by the international body’s Palestinian refugee agency. To read more, click here.

The Health Ministry today reported 5,755 new corona cases on Tuesday, putting the infection rate at 5.4%. At least 400 patients are in severe condition, of whom 62 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,580. The coronavirus cabinet will meet today to discuss the possibility of reinstating restrictions.


Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-9-2021

News Update

PM Bennett said yesterday that Israel views the Lebanese government responsible for rocket fire launched from its territory, whether the Hezbollah terror group fired the weapons or not. His comments, at the weekly cabinet meeting, came just days after 2 rockets fired from Lebanon hit open areas near Kiryat Shemoneh in northern Israel.

The London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper quoted a senior Western diplomatic source as saying that the U.S. had pressured Bennett not to change the rules of engagement against Hezbollah ahead of the renewal of Iran nuclear talks next month in Vienna. The pressure reportedly came due to concerns that Iran would use any attacks on its Lebanese proxy as an excuse to pull out of the talks. According to the report, the recent Hezbollah rocket fire was the Iranian-backed group testing PM Bennett’s resolve. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Saturday evening the group could escalate its cross-border actions against Israel in the future.

The Health Ministry today reported 3,371 new corona cases on Sunday, putting the infection rate at 3.8%. At least 360 patients are in severe condition, of whom 57 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,542, after two more patients died on Sunday.

The Defense Ministry announced that work began yesterday to make the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron accessible to disabled people. The project, which will take around 6 months, will include the construction of an access road from the parking lot to the plaza of the tomb and a wheelchair lift with a bridge that will allow worshipers of all religions to reach the site.

Israel’s former President Reuven Rivlin, 81, has been appointed president of Israeli technology company ElectReon Wireless, which is developing and implementing wireless Electric Road Systems (ERS) – a platform that charges electric vehicles while driving, using coils under the asphalt. ElectrRon said that Rivlin’s job would involve promoting cooperation between the company and foreign governments and international companies and exposing activities to “decision makers around the world.”

Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram, 22, won the gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics on Saturday in Tokyo. It is Israel’s second gold medal in this olympics. The Russians were not too happy with the results, calling them rigged. Ashram became the first non-Russian rhythmic gymnast to win the coveted Olympic gold medal in the competition since the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. The Russians took the silver this year. Sorry guys…

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-6-2021

News Update

A barrage of at least 10 rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel today. The Iron Dome missile defense system knocked most of the rockets out of the sky while several landed in open areas. No damage or casualties were reported. The IDF responded with artillery fire at the sources of the rocket launches.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed that they were responded to IDF airstrikes. On Wednesday 2 rockets fired from Lebanon hit open areas near Kiryat Shemona. The IDF launched artillery strikes in response. Early on Thursday, the IDF launched airstrikes at “the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon.”

Following a meeting between PM Bennett, Defense Minister Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and other security officials, an IDF spokesman said that Hezbollah had deliberately fired the rockets at open areas and not populated cities like Kiryat Shmona. He said, “This is the terror group’s attempt to show that it controls the region in southern Lebanon after a rogue Palestinian faction fired rockets at Israel on Wednesday.” He added, “We have no interest in intensifying the conflict or in starting a war, but we will not let the border area become an active front line.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry warned Israel not to take military action against it, in retaliation for the Iranian attack against an Israeli managed ship in the Arabian Sea last week. The warning came in response to threats by Defense Minister Gantz on Thursday.

The Palestinian Authority is facing a major economic crisis. It has accumulated a staggering amount of debt, and will probably be unable to pay the salaries of government employees and civil servants. Israel and the international community is trying to figure out ways to help.  To read more, click here.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said that Israel will send a delegation of 15 firefighters and rescuers to Greece to help put out the huge fires that are ravaging that country.

The Health Ministry reported 3,843 new covid cases on Thursday, following another over 3,000 case day on Wednesday. The infection rate is at 3.7%. Almost 350,000 Israelis over 60 have already received a third vaccine dose since it became available on Sunday.

PM Bennett said that the prospect of a lockdown during the Jewish High Holidays next month is dependent on the number of people who get vaccinated. He said, “Every one of you has to go out and get vaccinated because if not, you endanger yourself, you are really endangering the environment, as if you are walking around with a machine gun and shooting Delta viruses at everyone. This is a selfish and irresponsible decision, none of you want to kill other people by mistake.” He added, “The Delta is different from the original coronavirus pandemic, It’s a different pandemic. It is completely different from the original epidemic, so there is a real need for two main basic rules — to get vaccinated and wear masks.”