Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-31-2021

News Update

A terrorist with a knife charged at Israeli civilians and soldiers waiting at a bus stop near the city of Ariel. After he ignored calls to stop, troops on the scene fired at him and critically wounded him. He died later in the hospital.

At least 3 Border Policemen were injured as they attempted to dismantle a structure considered illegal in the settlement of Yitzhar in Samaria. The policemen were attacked by rioters throwing rocks and burning tires. Several settler youths were also hurt. Police managed to disperse the settlers using riot gear. Military vehicles were also damaged in the incident. To read more, click here.

Israel has signed a deal with the United States on Thursday to buy 12 Lockheed Martin Corp CH-53K helicopters and two Boeing Co KC-46 refueling planes for around $2 billion. The first helicopters were due to arrive in Israel in 2026 and the refueling planes not before 2025. Israel is trying to speed up the delivery of the refueling planes.

A US State Department spokesman tweeted that the US is “very pleased” with the recent meeting between Defense Minister Gantz and Palestinian Authority Abbas in Israel. He added, “We hope confidence-building measures discussed will accelerate momentum to further advance freedom, security, and prosperity for Palestinians and Israelis alike in 2022.”

The Health Ministry today reported 4,916 new Covid cases, resulting in a 3.15% infection rate. There are 93 Covid patients hospitalized in serious condition, with 37 on ventilators.

Israel’s population grew by about 160,000 people (1.7%) in 2021, reaching about 9,450,000 including 6.98 million (73.9%) Jews, about two million (21.1%) Arab and 472,000 from other sectors. About 184,000 babies were born in Israel in 2021: 73.8% to Jewish mothers, 23.4% to Muslim mothers and 2.8% to other mothers from other sectors. About 25,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2021, 5,000 more than last year. 30% of them came from Russia, 14.6% from France, 13.9% from the U.S. and 12.4% from Ukraine.

Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel has declared that Israel Postal Company will be 100% privatized, with 40% of the shares in the company initially being floated on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. To read more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-29-2021

News Update

A civilian Israeli contractor working on the security fence along the Gaza border was shot and lightly wounded today. The shooting occurred while terror groups in Gaza were holding a massive military drill. IDF tanks fired at several Hamas outposts in response to the shooting. Gaza media reported that three Palestinians were wounded.

Last night Defense Minister Gantz hosted PA President Abbas at his personal residence in Rosh Haayin. It was Abbas’s first meeting in Israel since 2010. Gantz approved a string of trust-building concessions including the addition of hundreds of entry permits for Palestinian businessmen and vehicles, additional VIP permits for dozens of PA officials, and the advancement of tax payments to the PA worth NIS 100 million. Gantz said that there would be more economic related measure implemented in the near future. For more details, click here.

The primary Syrian port of Latakia was attacked again early yesterday, allegedly by Israel. The port was previously attacked on Dec. 7. A Syrian military official said Israeli missiles were fired from the sea, west of Latakia, hitting the terminal and igniting fires that caused major damage. Syria’s state-run Al-Ikhbariyah TV ran footage showing flames and smoke rising from the terminal. Maj. Mohannad Jafaar, head of the Latakia fire department, said 12 fire trucks worked for hours to contain the fire. Port manager Amjad Suleiman told Al-Ikhbariyah the damage was much larger than that caused by the Dec. 7 attack and required a major effort to move in-tact containers away from the flames.

In a year-end statement issued by the IDF, chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi boasted of success in disrupting weapons shipments to Israel’s enemies in the region. He said, “The increase in the scope of operations over the past year has led to a significant disruption of the movement of weapons into the various arenas by our enemies.” In its year-end assessment, the IDF confirmed carrying out strikes on dozens of targets in Syria in what it called “the campaign between the wars.” Three targets also were struck in Lebanon, it said. It gave no further details. It also reported about 100 operations by the Israeli Navy, including dozens of “special operations.”

The Biden administration announced today that it is examining the possibility of reopening the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. One hurdle facing the move is the law which exposes all Palestinian representatives affiliated with the reopened PLO offices in Washington to personal lawsuits whenever there is a terrorist attack against Israel. The Palestinians want a guarantee from Washington that their representatives will receive immunity from such lawsuits if the PLO offices reopen. The Biden administration is also examining the possibility of increasing financial support for the Palestinian Authority. Israel supports that, but only on the condition that the PA stops monthly payments to terrorists and their families.

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau told the PM that he will not approve any future conversions to Judaism as long as the government continues to advance a plan to reform the process and dilute the Chief Rabbinate’s control over it. Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana is pushing legislation that would allow for conversions outside the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, authorizing municipal rabbis to supervise the process. There are currently 100 Ethiopian immigrants whose conversions the Chief Rabbi is refusing to approve. To read more, click here.

Former SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum and a company employee Ayala Cohen were indicted for insider trading. Birnbaum told Cohen inside information regarding two major events and told her to buy shares ahead of those events, which she did. To read more, click here.

The Health Ministry today reported 2,967 new Covid cases, resulting in a 2.48% infection rate. There are only 88 Covid patients hospitalized in serious condition.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-27-2021

News Update

Hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks at IDF troops on Saturday in the village of Burqa, in northern Samaria, not far from where terrorists killed a yeshiva student last week. The Palestinians also burned tires and fired shots into the air. Troops used live fire, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the rioters.

The government approved a plan to double the Jewish population in the Golan over the next 5 years. The plan includes 1 billion shekels of spending on housing, infrastructure and other projects to attract 23,000 new residents to the Golan. Around 25,000 Israelis currently live in the Golan, along with around 23,000 Druze, who remained in their villages after Israel took the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War. The Golan was part of biblical Israel and remained under Jewish control until the early part of the common era. Israel officially annexed the Golan in 1981 and the US, under President Trump, recognized it as part of Israel in 2019.

The Health Ministry today reported 1,760 new Covid cases, resulting in a 1.87% infection rate. There are only 87 Covid patients hospitalized in serious condition. and 86% of those are unvaccinated. Some restrictions on shopping malls and large stores are being implemented, due to last for 9 days.

Chaim Walder, the famous ultra-orthodox Israeli children’s author who was accused by at least 22 people of sexual abuse, was found dead on the grave of his son today in the cemetery in Petah Tikva. This comes a day after Chief Rabbi of Tzfat Shmuel Eliyahu, who lead the Jewish court responsible for investigate the case, publicized that he had received testimony from more victims.

While around 20% of the population suffered from food insecurity last year, 35% of the food produced in Israel went to waste. To read more, click here.

Do you need a chief rabbi in Saudi Arabia, if there is no Jewish community there? One rabbi thinks so, and he’s trying everything to make it happen. To read more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-24-2021

News Update

IDF troops were entering the village of El-Bireh, near Psagot, in northern Samaria (West Bank) last night when a terrorist in a passing vehicle opened fire on them. The soldiers fired back, hitting the terrorist, who later died. Dozens of Palestinians then gathered around the troops and began rioting. The troops managed to disperse the crowd using riot control measures. The 26 year old terrorist was identified as having been actively involved in terror attacks against Israelis.

The IDF carried out large-scale arrests overnight in Halhul, Hebron, Yabed and other Palestinian towns.

Over 15,000 people, primarily from Samaria took part in a memorial service at the spot where Yehuda Dimantman was killed in a terror attack last week. Dimantman’s family demanded that the government not take any steps to evacuate the yeshiva in Homesh, where Yehuda studied and which is considered to be an illegal outpost by the government. After the memorial service, the crowd walked to the yeshiva, in the pouring rain. Later that night, a group of settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the village of Burqa, near the rally.

Today, Border Police demolished several makeshift structures at the Homesh outpost, but did not touch the yeshiva.

Hamas is planning more terror attacks, with new techniques and capabilities. To read more, click here.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri will resign from the Knesset as part of a plea agreement he signed after pleading guilty to two tax offenses. He will also pay a fine of NIS 180,000 (57,000 dollar) in exchange for a suspended sentence. Deri said that he plans to continue leading the Sephardic Ultra Orthodox Shas party.

Despite claims that Israel is driving away its Christian community, the latest census reports indicate that Israel’s Christian community grew 1.4 percent last year to 182,000.

At the inaugural conference of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States (ARIS) in Turkey this week, Turkish President Erdogan told the rabbis that “Relations between Turkey, Jews and Israel will always be strong. Economic relations between the two countries are stronger than ever and will continue to grow.” To read more about the conference, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-22-2021

News Update

PM Bennett met with the U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who arrived in Israel yesterday, regarding Israel’s opposition to reviving the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Sullivan met with President Herzog yesterday, who also voiced his opposition to reviving the deal.

IDF troops shot and killed a terrorist who attempted to ram his vehicle into soldiers at a checkpoint near the settlement of Einav, in northern Samaria. Hamas praised the terror attack.

Israel’s incoming Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar said today that in the event of another war in Lebanon the Hezbollah terror group will suffer the kind of blow “it can’t even imagine”.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that Lebanon is committed to continuing indirect talks with Israel over demarcating their respective maritime borders. The talks are being organized by the US. Large offshore gas reserves are at stake.

According to a report by the Latet nonprofit aid organization, which provides food security for the poor, 27% of Israel’s population is considered poor. To read more, click here.

According to Israel’s census bureau, the most popular names for new babies born in 2020 were Maya and Mohammed. The most popular Jewish girl’s name remains Tamar. For Jewish boys it’s…you guessed it: David. For more names, click here.

Israel will begin offering a 4th vaccine booster to people over 60 and other immunocompromised individuals, who received their 3rd dose at least 4 months before.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-20-2021

News Update

Security forces arrested 4 suspects in the terror attack in which Yehuda Dimantman, a 25 year old yeshiva student and father, was killed and 2 other students wounded. The terrorists were captured in a night raid on a house in the village of Silat al-Harithiya, north of the West Bank city of Jenin, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The terrorists surrendered without a fight. PM Bennett was in the command center overseeing the joint IDF, Shin Bet and police operation. IDF troops came under heavy fire last night, when they attempted to map the home of 2 of the terrorists (brothers) for demolition. The troops returned fire. None of them were injured.

A Palestinian man attempted to stab 2 Jewish men in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday. Police pursued and captured the attacker, who was a 20 year old from the West Bank village of Anatha. The Jewish men were not hurt in the attack. On Saturday, a 38-year-old man was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant near the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron. The attacker was detained by security forces without a fight. Security forces also arrested a Palestinian teen who stabbed an Israeli woman in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem last week.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have signed an agreement to increase terror attacks against Israel and to coordinate their military wings. The agreement was reached in meetings between the leaders of both terror groups in Lebanon and in Gaza. The deal is seen by Palestinian political analysts as a new challenge for the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose security forces continue to carry out a massive crackdown on Hamas and Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank.

Tel Aviv is no longer ranked as the most liberal city in Israel. it is now second to neighboring Givatayim. Kfar Saba came in third, followed by Rishon Letzion and Hertzliya.

The District Planning and Building Committee – Southern District has announced the approval of the general outline plan for Beersheva. The plan proposes adding over 34,000 housing units to the Negev city, which will enable the population of the city to double to over 400,000. In addition to housing, the plan includes some four million additional square meters of office and commercial space, three million square meters of industrial space, 2.7 million square meters for public buildings, and 370,000 square meters for tourism. To read more, click here.

A major storm, named Carmel, will be hitting Israel today thru Wednesday with powerful winds and rain. Flooding is expected in coastal cities and in other low lying areas, and snow is expected on Mt. Hermon and in the Golan. [If you’re reading this, that means there hasn’t been a power outage in Modiin just yet…]

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-17-2021

News Update

Last night Yehuda Dimantman, a 25 year old Yeshiva student, was shot and killed by terrorists as he was returning home from his yeshiva in the settlement of Homesh in Samaria. Dimantman was traveling in a car with 2 other students towards the settlement of Shavei Shomron, where they all lived, when they were caught in the deadly ambush. The 2 friends were wounded in the shooting. Dimantman leaves behind a wife and an infant. He was laid to rest today in Jerusalem.

Hundreds of Israeli security forces are currently hunting for the terrorists. Several people believed to be connected to the terrorists have already been arrested. PM Bennett tweeted, “Together with all the people of Israel, I send heartfelt condolences to the family of the murdered in the deadly attack that took place tonight, and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. Security forces will soon get their hands on the terrorists. Justice will be served.” Other government ministers also expressed their condolences. Hamas released a statement praising the attackers.

Shortly after the shooting, a group of settlers entered the Arab village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, where they vandalized dozens of cars and ransacked a home and beat up the owner.

The Shin Bet announced yesterday that they had arrested 2 suspected Hamas spies in Israel. The suspects — Hussein Biyari, 30, a resident of Jaffa who has family in the Gaza Strip and Mohammad Ahmad, 33, a resident of the Palestinian enclave in Israel on a work permit — were both detained in a joint operation by Israel Police and Shin Bet and taken in for questioning on November 29. To read more, click here.

Syrian state media reported that Israel attacked army posts in southern Syria Thursday night, killing one soldier and causing material damage.

The Environmental Protection Ministry has blocked a deal between Israel and a company owned by UAE and Israeli owners to transport oil via Eilat. The deal would allow for oil unloaded from tankers in Eilat to be moved across Israel in an existing pipeline to the Mediterranean coast.

For a list of Israel’s fastest growing companies, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-15-2021

News Update

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that the US is prepared to move forward with the sale of F-35 fighter jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This comes after a report by Reuters that a UAE official had informed the US that it would suspend discussions to acquire the F-35’s.

The Washington Post reported this week that Israel had attacked two chemical weapons facilities in Syria over the past two years. To read the article, click here.

The Tehran Times newspaper published an article today titled “Just One Wrong Move”, with a map of dozens of targets in Israel that Iran is apparently capable of hitting. Chief of General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri was quoted as saying, “At the strategic level, we do not intend to strike anyone, but at the operational and tactical level we are ready for a decisive response and a quick and tough offensive against the enemy.” According to Israeli officials, however, the map of the alleged targets is inaccurate since some of them do not exist, while others include cities on Palestinian territories such as Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah as well as Lebanon. The officials also said that Iranian capabilities to target Israel without the help of its proxy Hezbollah are extremely limited.

The Biden Administration has reportedly shelved the process of reopening the US consulate in East Jerusalem, in the face of intense pushback from Israel.

An Israeli man returning to the country from Scotland was caught trying to smuggle in 330 baby lobsters in a suitcase. The Agriculture Ministry said that bringing hundreds of lobsters into the country without making sure they are free of diseases could endanger the population of wild lobsters in Israel, and harm the country’s status as an exporter in this field. [did you know that there were Israeli lobsters? For export…of course.]

While millions of Israelis have gotten vaccinated against Covid, only about 15% of the population has gotten the flu shot this season, which has led to a spike in hospitalizations of patients with influenza.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-13-2021

News Update

PM Bennett met with UAE’s leader Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan today in Abu Dhabi. It is the first ever visit to the UAE by an Israeli Prime Minister. In addition to discussing the Iranian issue, sources on the trip said the Emiratis have expressed interest in the prime minister’s background as a hi-tech entrepreneur, adding that Bennett’s meetings will seek to emphasize economic ties between Israel and the UAE. To read more, click here.

The Biden administration has rejected Israel’s request to expedite delivery of two KC-46 refueling jets, out of four purchased. The jets would enable Israel to mount an airstrike against Iran. The four jets are due to be delivered in 4 years, to replace Israel’s older refueling jets. Israel was hoping to get at least 2 of the jets earlier.

Security forces who entered Nablus (Shechem) to arrest a terrorist were attacked by a group of Palestinians who through explosives at them. The troops fired back, killing one attacker. The attacker was carrying a weapon when he was shot, and had previously participated in shooting attacks on Israeli soldiers. The troops succeeded in arresting their initial target.

Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata announced yesterday that 27,000 new immigrants will have made Israel their home by the end of 2021. 4,000 of those are from the US, 3,500 from France, 7,000 from Russia and close to 3,000 from Ukraine. Last year the number of new immigrants was 22,000.

The 70th Miss Universe pageant was held in Eilat last night. The winner was Harnaaz Sandhu of India. Contestants from 80 countries competed.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-10-2021

News Update

Defense Minister Gantz met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Washington yesterday to discuss bilateral ties between both countries and Israel’s concerns regarding Iran. Gantz also met with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken later in the day. There are reports that Gantz and the Americans discussed military options that they could use against Iran, if diplomacy failed to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

FM Lapid headed to Cairo on Thursday to meet with Egypt’s president and foreign minister, in a bod to improve relations with the country. The Foreign Ministry said Lapid presented a plan to develop Gaza’s economy in return for assurances of quiet, and eventually disarmament, by Hamas. He said the plan must address “the issue of captives and missing persons.” Lapid also discussed Israeli efforts to strengthen the rival Palestinian Authority. The FM raised Israel’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and expressed his country’s desire to ramp up cooperation with Israel in the civilian fields of economics, energy, agriculture, and trade, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

In an interview ahead of the release of a new book about the Abraham Accords, former US President Donal Trump said that he was disappointed and angry at former PM Netanyahu for being the first world leader to congratulate President Biden on his victory in an election that Trump believes was rigged. To read more, click here.