Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-30-2023

News Update

The Palestinian Health Ministry claimed that IDF troops in Hebron shot and killed a 26 year old Palestinian today near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The IDF reported that troops ordered a suspicious vehicle to stop, but the vehicle continued and attempted to run over a soldier. Troops fired at the escaping vehicle and reportedly hit the driver. The vehicle continued driving and then crashed. The driver was treated by the Red Crescent and later pronounced dead.

On Friday night, a terrorist from East Jerusalem killed seven people and injured several others outside of a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The terrorist was shot and killed by police. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza celebrated the deadly attack, reportedly firing celebratory weapon rounds in the air, lighting fireworks and handing out sweets. Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack. On Sunday the IDF sealed the home of the terrorist, preparing it for demolition. Many of the terrorist’s family members were detained as part of the investigation into the attack.

The victims of the terror attack are: Eli and Natali Mizrahi (husband and wife), Rafael Ben Eliyahu (56, father of 3), Asher Natan (14), Shaul Hai (68), Irina Korolova (Ukrainian citizen), Ilya Sosansky (26).

The cabinet yesterday decided to revoke social security benefits from the family members of terrorists, revoke their Israeli identity cards, ease the firearms licensing process for Israeli civilians and strengthen the settlements.

On Saturday morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israeli men in Silwan, outside the Old City. One of the men wounded, an IDF paratrooper officer, managed to shoot and wound the terrorist, who was then arrested.

On Sunday, IDF troops spotted two heavily armed men approaching the border fence from the Syrian side. Troops fired at the men, killing one and driving the other one away. Preliminary findings have shown that the incident is not thought to have been terror related. Also yesterday, security guards at the settlement of Kedumim shot and killed an armed terror suspect.

US intelligence sources claim that the Mossad was appears to have been behind an overnight drone attack on an Iranian defense factory in Isfahan, Iran. Isfahan is a major center of missile production, research, and development for Iran, including the assembly of many of its Shahab medium-range missiles, which can reach Israel and beyond.Iran claims that only minor damage was caused and all 3 drones were intercepted.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-27-2023

News Update

During a raid in Jenin yesterday to capture terrorists suspected of planning major attacks, IDF troops came under attack and returned fire. In the firefight, 9 terrorists were killed, as well as one 61 year old woman.  Around 20 other terrorists were wounded. The size and force of the IDF operation indicates that the terror attack being planned was imminent. Most of the terrorist casualties were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In the wake of the Israeli raid in Jenin, the Palestinian Authority announced that it was suspending security coordination with Israel. Some security analysts, however, believe that coordination will be restored once again following pressure from Jordan and the U.S. in order to prevent further bloodshed and because Abbas was interested in removing the Islamic Jihad militants from the West Bank. The United States urged de-escalation and coordination between Israeli and Palestinian security forces. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will begin a visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt on Sunday.

The UN Security Council will convene for an emergency session on Friday afternoon to discuss the raid in Jenin. The meeting was requested by the UAE, which is the Arab League’s representative on the council, as well as China and France, and will be held behind closed doors.

Last night, several rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza. The rockets were all intercepted by the Iron Dome. In response to the attack, IDF fighter jets attacked a Hamas underground rocket factory in Gaza.

Prime Minister Netanyahu released a statement in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He reiterated that Israel would do everything in its power to prevent a holocaust from ever happening again. For the entire statement, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-25-2023

News Update

A 42 yr old terrorist attempted to stab a soldier near the town of Kedumim (Samaria) today before being shot and killed by troops. The terrorist was from a village near Ramallah. Also, security forces arrested 11 wanted terrorists in overnight raids.

Prime Minister Netanyahu made a surprise trip to Jordan on Tuesday to meet with King Abdullah II, in his first foreign visit since taking office. They reportedly discussed regional issues and security cooperation. A statement by Jordan’s royal court said the two discussed “the importance of respecting the historical and legal status quo in Al Aqsa Mosque.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir promised to increase the police force and raise policemen’s pay by 20-40%. He also said he wants to form a new volunteer force. For more, click here.

Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Amir Yaron warned Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday that the judicial reforms promoted by his government might adversely affect Israel’s credit rating. Yaron has just returned from the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, where he met with world financial leaders. Yaron presented Netanyahu with a strategic plan drawn up by the central bank and said that the international community’s positive focus on Israel comes in part due to Israel’s quiet and efficient handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, and the local economy’s quick rebound with low unemployment and relatively low inflation.

President Isaac Herzog travelled to Brussels today for an official visit to the European Union ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day (tomorrow). During the visit the president will meet with the heads of the European Union, members of the Belgian government and the Jewish community in Belgium. He will address the EU parliament tomorrow.

Germany announced that it will reopen the investigation into the massacre of Israeli athletes by terrorists at the Munich olympics in 1972. Germany said the archives will be reexamined and investigated by Israeli and German historians. Germany has already issued a formal apology.

Tesla is reportedly planning to set up a large sales and service center in Netanya. The new center will feature Tesla’s first permanent showroom in Israel, and a bodywork and paint workshop that will replace Tesla’s existing small garage next to the company’s current management headquarters in Israel in Kiryat Ata. Since it started selling in Israel in 2021, Tesla has sold 10,000 cars in Israel.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-20-2023

News Update

Five families established a new illegal outpost, Or Chaim, on a strategic hilltop in northern Samaria overnight Thursday to mark one month since the death of religious Zionist leader Rabbi Chaim Druckman. The establishment of the settlement is a potential test for the coalition which has committed to entrenching Israel’s control over the territory. A large IDF was gathered outside the site today, indicating that it would likely be evacuated. For more, click here.

Supreme Court President Esther Hayut vowed, in private conversations, that she would resign her position several months early in protest if government reforms to radically overhaul Israel’s judicial and legal system passes the Knesset in its current form. Justice Minister Yariv Levin has proposed weakening the Supreme Court so that it will not be able to veto legislation and policies deemed unconstitutional, and granting the government control over the panel that selects judges. For more, click here.

The Supreme Court ruled that Shas leader Aryeh Deri cannot serve as a minister in the government because of a prior tax fraud conviction. Israel’s attorney general told the Prime Minister that he must fire Deri from his current posts as Interior and Health Minister. This is a major test of the role of the judicial system in Israel, as well as a test of the strength of the current government coalition.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan discussed the war in Ukraine with Israel leaders during a trip to Israel and the West Bank.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said that normalization with Israel would only occur if the Palestinians get a state.

New York based real estate firm Extell Development, owned by Gary Barnett (an Orthodox Jew), has purchased a major parcel of land in central Jerusalem from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate for NIS 750 million ($216 million). The 520 dunams of property is currently leased by Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet LeYisrael until 2051 with an extension option for a further rental period. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is the second biggest owner of real estate in Israel, after the Israeli government, having bought land from the Ottoman rulers in the 19th century. It is the largest and wealthiest church in the Holy Land, commanding massive real estate holdings dating back hundreds of years. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-18-2023

News Update

Security forces arrested 7 wanted terror suspects in overnight raids in the West Bank. IDF troops came under attack while escorting Jews to pray at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus). There were no Israeli casualties reported.

Morocco and Israel have agreed to increase military cooperation including in intelligence, air defense and electronic warfare.

According to the NYTimes, the US will send more than a million 155-millimeter shells to Ukraine, half of which will come from stockpiles in Israel and South Korea. The stockpile in Israel originates from US supplies to Israel after the Yom Kippur War. U.S. officials have promised to replenish the stockpile and send emergency shipments of ammunition in case of an emergency.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel is pressuring Israel to supply Ukraine with aerial defense systems. Israel has refused to supply military equipment because of its delicate relationship with Russia.

Jordan’s ambassador to Israel was prevented from entering the Temple Mount to pray at Al Aqsa, because he did not present the necessary permit. Police issued a statement clarifying the incident: “An officer on duty did not recognize the gentlemen and was not aware of any planned visit and informed his commander. While he was waiting for instructions, he held the two men at the entrance to the compound. Contrary to misleading reports, their entrance was not prevented and the ambassador himself decided to leave on his own accord. Had he waited just a few seconds longer, he would have been allowed in. Coordination in advance would have prevented any delay and we are sorry for the false reporting about the incident.” The ambassador returned 3 hours later and prayed at the mosque unimpeded.

Undercover officers arrested 4 women arriving from Berlin in Ben Gurion Airport yesterday who were found carrying 15kg of cocaine. The women are suspected of working for a large criminal syndicate.

New home prices in central Israel have fallen for the first time since Covid. This could signal some general weakness in the real estate market. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-16-2023

News Update

Security forces arrested 19 wanted terror suspects in overnight raids in the West Bank. During on raid, security forces came under fire. One Palestinian teen was shot and wounded. There were no Israeli casualties reported.

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi began his term as IDF Chief of Staff today. Halevi was drafted in 1985 to the paratroopers unit before being promoted to the elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit, which he led for years. In 2014 he was appointed as head of military intelligence, and four years later was named head of the Southern Command. Halevi is the first Orthodox Jew to head the IDF.

IDF Corporal Dennis Zinoviev, 18, was killed in an accidental grenade explosion on a training base in the Jordan Valley on Sunday. Three other soldiers were injured. The Military Police has launched an investigation into the incident.

Mass protests continue throughout the country against judicial reforms proposed by the government that would weaken the power of the Supreme Court to strike down legislation and would politicize the appointment of judges. Prime Minister Netanyahu has responded to the protests by saying that the majority of Israelis voted for a government that would reform the justice system.

The Gerer Rebbe, the leader of the largest Hassidic sect in Israel, is apparently also one of the wealthier men in Israel. Turns out that he inherited from his father 20 lots located in Arsuf, one of the most exclusive (and expensive) communities, along the Mediterranean coast. The real estate is valued at over 170 million shekels, but would be worth much more if developed. To read more (in Hebrew) click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-6-2023

News Update

The UN Security Council met for an emergency session on Thursday to discuss National Security Minister Ben Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount earlier this week. At the session, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya compared Ben-Gvir’s visit to that of Ariel Sharon’s in 2000 which helped spark the Second Intifada. He called on “both sides to show restraint and avoid unilateral provocations.” The Chinese ambassador said that Beijing was worried about rising tensions following the visit.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said, “There is absolutely no reason that this emergency session should be held. To hold it on a non-event is truly absurd. Why are we holding an emergency session for something as simple as a Jew walking to the holiest site in Judaism?” He added that with all the actual events going on throughout the world, there was clearly a double standard relating to Israel.

Israel freed Karim Younis, 60, who was convicted of kidnapping and killing IDF soldier Avraham Bromberg in the Golan in 1983. Younis completed serving his 40 year sentence. He received a hero’s welcome in his hometown, the Israeli Arab village of Ara. Younis said, “I am very proud to be one of those who made sacrifices for Palestine and we were ready to sacrifice more for the sake of the cause of Palestine.” On Tuesday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri called for Younis to be stripped of his Israeli citizenship.

Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday discussed motions challenging Aryeh Deri’s appointment to a ministerial role in the new government, despite his previous criminal convictions. The motions opposing Deri’s appointment were filed soon after the law allowing a convicted felon to serve in government was proposed. Known as the “Deri Law,” it stipulates that as long as sentencing is suspended and no actual jail time is involved, it would not disqualify someone from serving.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara declared her opposition to Deri serving in government, and wrote a 77-page dissenting argument to that effect, in which she called Deri’s proposed appointment as “extremely unreasonable.” However, she also said that the motions should be rejected outright as the court has no authority to intervene in this proposed legislation, and added that the prime minister should be able to defend the appointment.

Deri, in his role as deputy Prime Minister, will fill in for the Prime Minister for a few minutes today, while Netanyahu undergoes a routine colonoscopy.

A specially constructed Israeli version of the US President’s Air Force 1 plane will be placed into service. The plane, called Wings of Zion, will be the official aircraft of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and may also be used for state visits by President Herzog.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-4-2023

News Update

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the Temple Mount yesterday, on the fast day commemorating the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians that lead to the destruction of the first Temple. The visit lasted 15 minutes and there were no incidents. Ben Gvir’s wife visited the Temple Mount shorty after him.

The police, Shin Bet and IDF all participated in the visit planning and security, and approved the visit from a security standpoint. Ben-Gvir said, “Temple Mount is the most important site for the people of Israel, and we maintain our freedom of movement there.” He added that the government will not bend to Hamas threats and will respond with an iron fist to terror. A rocket fired from Gaza yesterday landed in a field in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France, England and the UAE all condemned the visit, calling it an attack against the mosque. Prime Minister Netanyahu will have to postpone and reschedule his planned visit to the UAE. The U.S. Embassy in Israel issued a statement saying, “Ambassador Nides has been very clear in conversations with the Israeli government on the issue of preserving the status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites. Actions that prevent that are unacceptable.”

Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and the Haredi UTJ party blasted Ben Gvir for visiting the Temple Mount, because they consider it to be forbidden by Jewish religious law.

IDF troops came under attack during an arrest raid in the Deheisheh refugee camp outside Bethlehem last night. Troops opened fire. A Palestinian teen was killed.

The Border Police is investigated an incident where a female Border Police soldier was “forgotten” and left behind in the heart of the Palestinian town of Al-Ramm, located just north of Jerusalem. Video footage shows her walking through the town alone, with her rifle drawn. The soldiers commander and the soldiers of her unit have been suspended.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham criticized new Foreign Minister Eli Cohen for failing to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Cohen said, in his first speech, emphasized Israel’s close relationship with the US but that Israel will not be “talking as much” about Ukraine as the previous Israeli government. Graham responded by tweeting, “I’m glad to see Mr. Cohen is prioritizing the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship and supports continued humanitarian aid to Ukraine, however, the idea that Israel should speak less about Russia’s criminal invasion of Ukraine is a bit unnerving. I hope Mr. Cohen understands that when he speaks to Russia’s Lavrov, he’s speaking to a representative of a war criminal regime that commits war crimes on an industrial scale every day.” Graham is a staunch friend of Israel.

The IDF Manpower Directorate reported on Tuesday that 44 active Israeli service members have passed away in 2022, the highest such figure in five years. Included in the total were 3 soldiers killed in terrorist attacks, 6 by friendly fire and 14 by suicide.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich have agreed in principle to partially or fully freeze the price rises in electricity, water and municipal taxes. For more, click here. 

Israel has ranked 10th in U.S. News’s 2022 list of the world’s most powerful countries, based on dominating headlines, preoccupying policymakers, and shaping global economies. The top 9 were the US, China, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Japan and the UAE. For more, click here.

Rishon Lezion has the best quality of life of any major city in Israel, the Central Bureau of statistics reports, followed by Rehovot, Ramat Gan, Kfar Saba, Petah Tikva, Netanya and Ashkelon. In the middle range of the ranking were Tel Aviv-Yafo followed by Haifa and Beit Shemesh, and in the bottom range were Bnei Brak, Beersheva, Ashdod, Holon, Jerusalem and Bat Yam. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 1-2-2023

News Update

IDF forces that entered the village of Kafr Dan near Jenin to demolish the homes of two terrorists who killed an IDF major in September came under heavy fire and Molotov cocktails. Troops returned fire, killing 2 terrorists. There were no Israeli casualties.

The Syrian army said today that Israel carried out a missile strike on Damascus International Airport overnight and put it out of service. Missiles also hit targets in the south of Damascus, killing two members of the Syrian armed forces and causing some damage.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi called to congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu on returning to power and urged him to avoid “any measures that could lead to a tense situation and complicate the regional scene.” El-Sissi also said his government would continue its efforts to “maintain calm” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is planning to make his first visit to the UAE, as soon as next week.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has informed police that he intends to visit the Temple Mount in the next few days. An exact date is being withheld due to security reasons.

The United States Air Force deployed six fighter jets to an Israeli Air Force base in southern Israel today, as part of a military tactic to constantly disperse its aircraft at various airbases. The planes will participate in joint exercises with the IAF. For more, click here.

New Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich instructed that orders be prepared as quickly as possible for the cancellation of taxes on sugary drinks and disposable plastic items. The tax on sugary drinks was introduced in January 2022 and the tax on disposable plastic items came into effect in November 2021. Both were major policies of the previous government aimed at benefitting health and the environment. But the Haredi community was convinced that the taxes introduced by previous Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman were aimed at them due to their reliance on these products.