Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-31-2022

News Update

Security forces today arrested 3 men in a village near Ramallah, suspected of involvement in several terror shootings.  One of the suspects was shot and slightly injured when he tried to flee. Security forces also arrested 6 other terror suspects in West Bank raids. There were no Israeli casualties.

An IDF soldier in the armored brigade was killed last night during a tank exercise in the Golan. The reason for the accident is unknown and under investigation.

Defense Minister Gantz and the Japanese Defense Minister signed an agreement to step up cooperation in military equipment and technology.

The IDF, yesterday, published the names of Palestinian civilians who helped facilitate terrorist rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel during the most recent hostilities between Israel and the Gaza terror groups. For more, click here.

The government has reached an agreement with the teachers’ union that is set to prevent a nationwide strike in schools on September 1. The agreement includes salary increases for experienced teachers as well as those in starting positions. It also requires that educational staff give up six vacation days out of the year.

The families of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered in the 1972 Munich Olympics have decided to lift their boycott of memorial events marking the 50th anniversary of the massacre after reaching a significant breakthrough in talks with the German government on compensation. According to the latest reports, Berlin has agreed to play families 28 million euros, or 1.2 million euros to each of the 23 eligible families. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-29-2022

News Update

Security forces arrested nine terror suspects in overnight West Bank raids. Troops were fired upon and returned fire. No troops were wounded.

Satellite images confirm that an alleged Israeli strike in Syria last week hit a giant arms depot housing about 1,000 precision-guided middle-range missiles for Iran-backed fighters. The images show widespread destruction at the facility.

Mossad Director David Barnea will travel to Washington next week and will appear before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee as part of Israel’s campaign to thwart a return to the Iran nuclear deal.

Defense Minister Gantz is on an official visit to Japan, where he will meet with Japanese security and government officials.

Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party and Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit part announced on Friday that their parties will run on a joint ticket in the November 1 election as a result of a deal brokered by Benjamin Netanyahu. Smotrich will head the joint list and Ben-Gvir will be his deputy. A joint run will potentially give the parties 12 Knesset seats, which is several more than if they ran separately.

Health Ministry announced on Sunday that the Strauss Group Elite factory was authorized to gradually resume its activities after a salmonella outbreak. The Israeli food giant has been forced to remove millions of chocolate bars, cereal bars and cookies from supermarket shelves across the country.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-26-2022

News Update

Syrian state media reported that Syrian air defenses intercepted “hostile targets” over Hama’s countryside on Thursday and that 2 civilians were killed in the attack. The UK based Observatory for Human Rights, a Syrian opposition group said that among the targets was a scientific research facility as well as Iran backed militias including Hezbollah.

Mossad Chief Dedi Barnea said that a potential Iran nuclear deal would be disastrous as it would facilitate Iran’s efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon. Barnea said that the deal will infuse Iran with billions of dollars that will be diverted to fund terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, that will pose a challenge for both the U.S. and Israel. For more, click here.

Israeli school children will miss the first day of school if the teachers unions and the Finance Ministry do not sign a wage agreement by September first.

Israel’s Government Companies Authority will meet next week to kick-start the privatization process for the Israel Postal Co. The government will sell its entire portion of the company. For more, click here.

Israel’s only producer of cement has been fined nearly $1.9 million for violations of the Clean Air Law. The Environmental Protection Ministry confirmed that there’s an unusual rate of cancer, especially lung cancer, in Ramla and Lod, where the company plants are located. For more, click here.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is planning to import to Israel a massive consignment of 4,000 cars before the end of the year, mainly of Tesla 3s made in China. This will be the biggest consignment to arrive in the country so far.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-24-2022

News Update

Security forces arrested 14 terror suspects in West Bank raids overnight.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned Israeli missile attacks against Syria, in a joint press conference with the Syrian Foreign Minister. He said, “We strongly condemned the dangerous practice of Israeli strikes on Syrian territory. We demand that Israel respect the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and, above all, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.”

The Saudi Arabian run news outlet Elaph reported that Israeli F-35 stealth fighters penetrated Iranian airspace several times in the last two months. The report says Israel and the US also carried out secret exercises over the Red Sea simulating a strike on Iran from the sea and air and the seizing of Iranian warships.

The Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi moved to its permanent residence on Tuesday, on the 48th and 49th floors of the Etihad Towers.

Turkish President Erdogan met with Palestinian Authority President Abbas in Turkey on Tuesday, and reassured him that Turkey’s renewed ties with Israel will not diminish Turkey’s support of the “Palestinian cause”.

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Gantz are both making last ditch efforts to persuade the US not to reenter a nuclear agreement with Iran. For more, click here.

A recent poll by the Israeli Foreign Ministry shows that support for Israel among US Democrats is increasing. For more, click here.

Israel received royalties of NIS 829 million in the first half of 2022 from natural gas, quarries and resources, up 50% from the first half of 2021, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources reports. Most of this figure – NIS 824 million – was from natural gas, up 48% from NIS 557 million the first half of last year. Since the state began collecting royalties for offshore natural gas in 2013, it has received NIS 10 billion. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-22-2022

News Update

Security forces arrested 8 suspected terrorists in overnight raids in the West Bank.

Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar traveled to Egypt on Sunday after Egypt accused Israel of not following the terms of the truce mediated by Egypt between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which Egypt claims included Israel refraining from military activity against the PIJ in the West Bank. Israel has continued to carry out raids against PIJ members in the West Bank.

The High Court of Justice rejected an appeal to release suspected terrorist Khalil Awawdeh from administrative detention. Awawdeh has been on a hunger strike from the last six months and was one of two terrorists in Israeli detention that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad demanded be released.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians employed in Israel staged a one-day strike on Sunday in protest of a decision to pay their salaries into bank accounts rather than in cash. The new payment method was agreed between Palestinian and Israeli authorities. Most of the workers do not have bank accounts and putting their salaries on the books would create a new revenue source for the Palestinian Authority and provide Palestinian banks with significant service fees.

Cyprus has reportedly made a deal to acquire Iron Dome batteries, which would give them the ability to shoot down Turkish drones.

Rabbi Shalom Cohen, the leader of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox Shas party, passed away today at the age of 91. Thousands are expected at his funeral today in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid confirmed on Sunday he will take part in an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the LGBTQIA2S+ youth movement IGY, becoming the first Israeli premier to participate in a public Pride event while in office.

A bull walked into a Bank Leumi bank branch in Lod yesterday (this is not the beginning of a joke!). The bull was eventually coaxed out of the building by employees and the bull’s owner, and was sedated by the city’s animal control service.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-19-2022

News Update

Israel and Turkey announced the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the countries. Both Prime Minister Lapid and President Herzog spoke with Turkish President Erdogan after the announcement. The leaders all welcomed the move and expressed hope for the development of close ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday to urge him not to renew the Iran nuclear deal after the EU submitted a “final” draft text aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal. In the call, the German Chancellor condemned any attempts to deny or downplay the Holocaust, referring to comments made by PA President Abbas in Berlin this week. He said, “The comments by President Abbas in Berlin were intolerable and completely unacceptable to (the chancellor) and the entire German government. Keeping alive the memory of the civilizational rupture of the Shoah is an everlasting responsibility of this and every German government.” The Berlin police have opened a preliminary investigation against Abbas, since downplaying the Holocaust is a criminal offense in Germany.

Lapid also spoke to Ted Deutch, chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East Subcommittee, and with the U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

Security forces raided and shut down the offices of several Palestinian advocacy groups that had been designated by the government as terrorist organizations. Defense Minister Gantz said that the groups “operate under the guise of performing humanitarian activities to further the goals of the PFLP terrorist organization, to strengthen the organization and to recruit operatives.” Israel said it would provide the US with documentation and evidence to prove that the groups were terror related, after the US State Department expressed concern over the closures. The UN condemned the closures, claiming no credible evidence was provided.

Israel will increase the number of work and trade permits for Palestinians living in Gaza by 1,500 for a total of 15,500 permits.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-17-2022

News Update

The first ultra-Orthodox settlement outpost ever to be erected was established on a hilltop near the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Metzad in the Gush Etzion Regional Council on Sunday night. Fifteen families moved into the 15 structures in the new outpost named Derech Emunah. Early this morning civil authorities along with Border Police dismantled the outpost and evicted the inhabitants. The outpost was deemed illegal. For more, click here.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin yesterday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that despite different views on the conflict between the two sides, the term “apartheid” is not correct. He said, “Naturally we have a different assessment with a view to Israeli politics, and I want to expressly say here that I do not espouse the use of the word apartheid and do not think it correctly describes the situation.”

Speaking in Berlin alongside the German chancellor, PA President Abbas accused Israel of committing many holocausts against the Palestinians. Abbas dismissed a question over whether he would apologize for the Munich Massacre and said: “I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed….50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts.” After and international outcry against his remarks, Abbas’s office clarified that he “reiterates and emphasizes that the Holocaust was the most abominable crime that occurred in humanity’s modern history. In his response, there was no intention of denying the uniqueness of the Holocaust, which was perpetrated in the previous century, and which is something which must be harshly condemned. The intention regarding the crimes President Abbas spoke about was regarding the acts of massacre perpetrated against the Palestinian nation since the Nakba by the Israeli forces – and these are crimes which have not ceased to this day.”

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of IDF Staff Sergeant Nathan Fitoussi who was killed by friendly fire near the West Bank city of Tulkarm on Monday.

Israel’s GDP grew 6.8% on an annualized basis in the second quarter of 2022. The growth figures are in contradiction to expectations which was forecasting an economic slowdown, after the Israeli economy contracted 2.7% in the first quarter. For more, click here.

Elbit Systems (Nasdaq: ESLT) has been awarded two contracts worth a total of $240 million to upgrade main battle tanks for an unnamed international customer.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-15-2022

News Update

Security forces arrested two 21 year old Israeli Arabs from Umm al Fahm on suspicion that they planned to carry out terror attacks on behalf of ISIS. The men confessed to planning attacks in during their investigation, and revealed their intent to join IS forces and fight with them.

A terrorist attempted to stab members of an undercover Border Police unit that was searching the village of Aqab (near Jerusalem) for illegal weapons. Troops shot and killed the terrorist.

The IDF announced that it destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel that was being built near the Israel border in northern Gaza. The tunnel had not yet managed to penetrate into Israel territory.

The IDF, on Sunday, hit Iranian targets in a series of strikes near the Syrian port city of Tartus and near Damascus. The Syrian Army reported 3 dead and 3 wounded in the strikes. Russia has a major naval base in Tartus and an airbase nearby. For more, click here.

On Sunday morning, a Palestinian terrorist shot and wounded 8 civilians on a bus and in a nearby parking lot near the entrance to the Western Wall plaza. The terrorist, a 26-year-old East Jerusalem resident who had served 5 years in an Israeli prison, turned himself in to police later in the day. Four of the wounded were American citizens.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-12-2022

News Update

A 30 year old woman from Ofakim and her 7 year old and 2 year old daughters were killed yesterday when an out of control public bus hit them as they were standing on a sidewalk outside of a shopping mall in Jerusalem yesterday. They were laid to rest today. Three other people were injured, one critically. The driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle.

The number of people immigrating to Israel from Russia and Ukraine has risen significantly since the start of the war between the two countries. The were 31,066 new immigrants from the two countries (12,175 from Ukraine and 18,891 from Russia) thus far this year, compared to 9,744 in 2019. For more, click here.

After a legal battle lasting over 20 years, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in early May that the IDF could evict over 1,300 Palestinians living inside a military training zone that covers miles of rolling hilltops south of Hebron. For a detailed report on this story, click here.

Chinese online retailer AliExpress has leased warehouses near Ben Gurion airport to enable fast delivery times in Israel. Israel is an important market for AliExpress.

The shekel is strengthening against the US dollar. The stronger shekel should lower prices on imported good, which should slow inflation.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-10-2022

News Update

On Tuesday, a joint force of IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police commandoes killed terror suspect Ibrahim al-Nablusi in a three hour gunfight after they surrounded three buildings he was hiding out in, in Nablus. Troops ended up firing shoulder fired missiles that destroyed the building with al-Nablusi still in it. A second terrorist was also killed with him. Both terrorists were leaders. During the fight, dozens of other Palestinians began attacking the troops with rocks and explosives. Troops responded to the attack and Palestinians sources claim that 2 attackers were killed and 40 or more wounded.  A dog belonging to the police antiterror force was killed in the gunfight. To watch video of the operation, click here.

The Russian foreign ministry condemned Israeli aggression against Gaza over the weekend. The Russian Embassy in Egypt published a Tweet condemning Prime Minister Lapid for Israel’s operation saying, “Compare Yair Lapid’s lie about Ukraine in April and attempts to place blame and responsibility on Russia for the deaths of people in Bucha who were brutally murdered by the (Ukrainian) Nazis with his calls in August for bombing and land strikes in Gaza. Isn’t that double standards and complete disregard and contempt for the lives of Palestinians?”

President Herzog spoke with Russian President Putin by phone on Tuesday regarding Russia’s move to close the Jewish Agency offices there. According to Herzog’s office, during the call Herzog “elaborated on the activities of the Jewish Agency in Russia,” while the two also discussed bi-literal relations. “The phone call was frank and honest. The two leaders emphasized the important areas of cooperation between Israel and Russia and agreed to remain in contact.” The statement added that Putin “underscored his personal commitment to Holocaust commemoration and the fight against antisemitism.”

The Likud party has unanimously chosen Benjamin Netanyahu to continue in his role as party leader. He was unchallenged. Likud is holding primaries today.

The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) has announced that special flights will be launched during the summer for Palestinians living in Judea, Samaria and the Palestinian Authority. The flights will be operated by the small Turkish airline Atlas between Ramon and Anatolia in Turkey. The flights will begin later this month and continue through September and October with Istanbul added as a destination. The option for Palestinians to fly from Ramon is a major breakthrough. Until now, Palestinians wanting to fly abroad have needed to cross via the Allenby Bridge to Jordan and then travel to Amman airport. Now they can travel from Israel, although it is not yet clear how they will travel to and from Ramon airport. For more, click here.