Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-31-2022

News Update

Syrian media reported that Israel carried out missile strikes on Hezbollah positions, outposts and weapon depots near Damascus early this morning. The strikes are the first since Russia announced last week it was carrying out joint military jet patrols with the Syrian air force of the airspace along Syria’s borders, including in the Golan Heights area. The Israeli missiles were reportedly fired at approximately 3 a.m. from aircraft flying near Beirut.

President Isaac Herzog spoke at Dubai’s Expo 2020 world fair today. Herzog said, “Already our trade has exceeded over $1 billion, more than 120 agreements were signed and a $100 million (research and development) fund was established recently.”

The Health Ministry reported 74,312 new daily COVID cases on Monday, resulting in a 30% infection rate. There are 1,099 patients are in severe condition, of whom 241 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 8,724. The ministry also announced that tourists who were vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will now be allowed to enter Israel.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-28-2022

News Update

Police arrested arrested 45 Palestinians who participate in a slew of violent activities in east Jerusalem, during the snow storm that hit the capital yesterday. Palestinians attacked police officers and vehicles, threw stones at vehicles in various neighborhoods including Sheikh Jarrah, Armon Hanetziv and Shuafat. Police reported that the situation began to calm down toward the evening hours but searches after additional suspects were ongoing. To read more, click here.

U.S.-brokered negotiations to demarcate the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon will resume next week. Energy Minister Karine Elharrar will meet with U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein next week. Lebanese President Michel Aoun said, “Lebanon is ready to resume negotiating the demarcation of the southern maritime borders, in a way that preserves the rights and sovereignty of the Lebanese state.”

A bipartisan group of 42 US members of Congress sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to lead an effort to end an ongoing United Nations commission into Israel. The Commission of Inquiry was set up to probe last May’s conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups, as well as an ongoing investigation into the conflict. Israel fears the investigation may be used to label it as “an apartheid state.” To read more, click here.

President Herzog announced that he will be visiting Turkey next month. It will be the first visit by an Israeli leader to Turkey since 2018.

The Israeli government has agreed to a deal with US-based biotech company Novavax to buy five million COVID-19 vaccine doses. The vaccine has yet to be approved by the USFDA.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-26-2022

News Update
IDF troops arrested two terrorists attempting to cross the southern border of Gaza into Israel. They were armed with a grenade.

Russian aircraft have begun flying joint patrols with Syrian aircraft along the Israeli border. The Russian Defense Ministry said that sees joint flights would continue. The joint patrol included Russia’s latest fighter jets: the Sukhoi Su-34 attack aircraft; Sukhoi Su-35 multi-mission fighter jet; A-50 command and control aircraft, as well as the Syrian army’s MiG-23 and MiG-29 aircrafts. Israel is concerned that the Russian involvement in the patrols is a message that they want Israel to stop their attacks against Iranian related forces in Syria. Russia could also be sending a signal to the US that they have broad military capabilities, as tensions rise regarding Ukraine.

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of air defense radars and C-130 Super Hercules planes to Egypt for a combined value of more than $2.5 billion.

Isaac Herzog will travel to the United Arab Emirates next week.

Snow began to fall this morning in the Golan Heights, as winter storm Elpis blew into Israel. Jerusalem is expected up to 20 centimeters of snow later today.

Have you heard about the former Israeli commando who is now serving in the Ukrainian army? To read more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-24-2022

News Update

Almost 1 million Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of January, which is 10% of the population. Around 3 million Israelis have caught Covid during the Omicron fifth wave. In fact, Israel is first in the world in infections this week. 67,198 new virus cases have been detected over the past 24 hours. Over 700 patients are hospitalized in serious condition.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid yesterday met with senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al Sheikh, who oversees civilian and security coordination between the PA and Israel. PM Bennett and DM Gantz were advised of the meeting beforehand.

Jewish settlers allegedly vandalized cars in the Palestinian village of Kida over the weekend. For more, click here.

Former Supreme Court chief justice Miriam Naor died today at age 74.

The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) has been rising steadily but slowly over the past month from a low-point of 210.78 meters below sea level in mid-December. The Kinneret has risen one centimeter over the past 24 hours, and is now at 210.585 meters below sea level. The lake is now 1.785 meters from its maximum level of 208.80 meters below sea level. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-21-2022

News Update

The UN General Assembly approved an Israeli-sponsored resolution yesterday condemning any denial of the Holocaust and urging all nations and social media companies “to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion.” The resolution was passed by consensus, without a vote.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki criticized U.S. President Biden for moving too slowly to reverse all of the Trump administration’s adverse policies against the Palestinians and not using Washington’s special relationship to pressure Israel to abandon “its rejection of a two-state solution and peace negotiations.” To read more, click here.

The foreign ministries of France, Germany, Italy and Spain urged Israel to stop the construction of new housing units in east Jerusalem. Earlier this month, Israel approved the construction of 3,500 new housing units in east Jerusalem. In a statement, the European countries said that the hundreds of new buildings would “constitute an additional obstacle to the two-state solution.

Israel announced it will be buying 3 submarines from Germany for around $3.4 billion. The German government will fund part of the deal through a special grant. In addition, a €850-million agreement was signed with the German economics and technology ministry to invest in Israeli industries, including defense companies.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-19-2022

News Update

An Israeli delegation has reportedly landed in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum today.

Thousands of protesters gathered in dozens of locations across the country last night to protest government policies. Opposition lawmakers took part in some of the gatherings, protesting under the slogan “Israel is in danger — we want a Jewish state.” Organizers said they were protesting against “the loss of Zionist values, legal persecution and the danger to the Jewish identity of the State of Israel.”

The Health Ministry reported 71,593 new covid cases on Tuesday. The actual number of new cases is assumed to be much higher, closer to 200,000. Hospitals are treating 526 patients in serious condition. The government is discussing whether to abolish the “Green Pass” requirement for public venues, since the Omicron variant is infecting vaccinated people as much as those unvaccinated. Health officials are also considering scrapping isolation requirements for children who were exposed to a carrier but remained asymptomatic.

Another winter storm is hitting Israel thru Thursday. Snow fell in the Golan last night. There could be a dusting in Jerusalem. The rest of the north and center of the country will have to settle for some rainfall and heavy winds. The Water Authority said the water level in the Sea of Galilee had risen by 1.5 centimeters since Tuesday and now stands at 209.56 meters below sea level, 76 centimeters below full capacity.


Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-17-2022

News Update

Israel has reportedly signed a deal to supply Lebanon with natural gas via Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The pipeline will take several years to construct. The deal was supervised by the United States and Russia, in an effort to provide Lebanon with an alternate solution to its energy crisis that does not come from Iran. Lebanon’s Energy Ministry has issued an official statement denying the existence of a deal. Acknowledging the deal would mean recognition of Israel, which Lebanon will not officially do. To read more, click here.

According to new polls, the majority of Israelis oppose a plea deal for former Prime Minister Netanyahu, and want him to go to trail and receive a verdict.

The Jerusalem Municipality ordered the demolition of a mosque in the Palestinian neighborhood Beit Safafa in east Jerusalem. The Al-Rahman Mosque – built before Israel’s founding in 1948 – reportedly drew criticism from several Israeli NGOs due to its striking similarity to the Dome of the Rock. According to court documents, the municipality approved the demolition based on a floor of the building that was built without a permit and that 700 square meters of the compound were built without a permit or the approval of certified engineers

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz on Sunday instructed senior officials in his ministry to reduce the number of days required for quarantine for people infected by COVID or those who had come into close contact with a confirmed patient to 5 days.

Next month, international indices company MSCI will publish its decision on whether to include Israel in its leading European stock indices. The decision will be made after a survey among leading asset managers and other interested parties in the global market. If included, the Israeli capital market could receive billions of dollars of new investment flow.


Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-14-2022

News Update

Maj. Ofek Aharon and Maj. Itamar Elharar, company commanders in the elite Egoz unit, were killed by friendly fire near their base in the Jordan Valley. According to the IDF, around 11pm, the officers were performing a patrol around the Nabi Musa training base in the Jordan Valley after a nighttime training exercise. As they were walking, they spotted a suspicious figure walking nearby. The officers attempted to arrest the suspect, first calling for him to halt and then firing their weapons into the air. A soldier from their unit heard the gunfire and fired at them, misidentifying them as possible terrorists, and fatally wounded them.

The Shin Bet and Israel Police arrested several Israeli women suspected of communicating with Iranian intelligence officers, who attempted to recruit them as spies. The women were Jewish immigrants from Iran. To read more, click here.

Hamas is accusing Israel of using specially trained Dolphins to spy on them. Ok then…

Over 2,000 Bedouin staged a violent protest near Bersheva against tree planting in the Negev by the Jewish National Fund. Protesters threw rocks at police, who managed to push them back off of the highway that they were blocking. Protesters claimed that the police infringed on their right to protest. To read more, click here.

The Health Ministry today reported 40,430 new Covid cases on Thursday, resulting in a 12.65% infection rate. Hospitals are currently treating 306 Covid patients in serious condition, out of whom 76 are connected to ventilators.

Israel is being hit by a winter storm, which should last through the weekend. Major flooding is expected.


Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-12-2022

News Update

Yesterday, a terrorist rammed his car into a group of soldiers stationed near the settlement of Halamish in Samaria. A 19 year old soldier was injured and taken by helicopter to the hospital in moderate condition. The terrorist was apprehended.  Hamas praised the attack.

Police and military forces have been deployed in the southern Negev as a result of rioting by local Bedouins who are protesting tree planting by the Jewish National Fund on land that belongs to the government that they claim is their territory. The Arab Ra’am party, which is the key member of the fragile 61 seat government coalition, is threatening to leave the coalition if the tree planting efforts are not halted. Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin of the New Hope party, whose ministry oversees the tree planting, is opposed to halting the work. To read more, click here.

The Health Ministry today reported 43,815 new Covid cases on Tuesday, resulting in a 12.09% infection rate. Hospitals are currently treating 781 people for the virus, with 254 of them being in serious condition, out of whom 63 are connected to ventilators. Although the number of infected is skyrocketing, as long as the hospitalization rate remains relatively low, there will most likely not be new lockdowns.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has tested positive for coronavirus. He is quarantining at his home in Tel Aviv and says that he is feeling well. Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz has also tested positive for Covid, as did Public Security Minister Omer Barlev. Last night, PM Bennett said in a speech that millions of Israelis would probably be infected with the virus. He added, “The next few weeks will be tough, but we will pull through. Every one of us must take responsibility and not congregate unnecessarily. There’s no room for panic and no room for hysteria. The tsunami comes and goes.”

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-10-2022

News Update

The Health Ministry today reported 21,501 new Covid cases on Sunday, resulting in a 12.31% infection rate. Since vaccinated individuals are only required to use home rapid tests, there are most likely many more Covid cases than officially reported. But as long as the cases do not require hospitalization, the situation is not as worrisome as during the initial waves of the virus, pre-vaccine.  There are 222 Covid patients hospitalized in serious condition, with 57 on ventilators. The country is open to tourists from most countries, including the US.

The cabinet voted to remove the requirement of possessing a Green Pass in order to enter malls, after retailers complained of challenges in enforcing the rule.

Former PM Netanyahu is suing former PM Ehud Olmert for defamation and is seeking nearly $270,000 in damages. The reason for the suit is that last April Olmert criticized Netanyahu and said that “what is irreparable is the mental illness of the prime minister, his wife and his son.” Olmert was convicted of fraud in 2014 and served most of a 27-month prison sentence. Netanyahu is currently on trial for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. [You can’t make this stuff up! All you can say is “OY”.]

Israel’s national library says the number of visitors to its Arabic website more than doubled last year. Around 650,000 users, predominantly from the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Algeria, visited the National Library of Israel’s English and Arabic sites in 2021. One of the most heavily trafficked resources on the Arabic website is a newspaper archive with more than 200,000 pages of Arabic publications from Ottoman and British Mandate Palestine.

Despite nearly two years of low occupancy, since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, construction of new hotel rooms in Israel is at a five year high. To read more, click here.