Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-28-2023

News Update

A terrorist attempted to ram his car into a group of soldiers near Ariel. When his car was blocked by a concrete barrier, he exited the car with a knife and tried to stab a police officer. Soldiers shot the terrorist. No Israelis were hurt.

Over 150,000 supporters of the government rallied outside the Knesset on Thursday night calling for the judicial overhaul to be enacted and the power of the Supreme Court to be curtailed. Demonstrators shouted, “We don’t want compromise.” Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich spoke at the rally, promising that the reforms would be passed in the Knesset. Many coalition ministers attended the demonstration. Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted, “I thank the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who came to Jerusalem tonight to support our government. Your passion and patriotism moves me deeply.” For more, click here.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination, is visiting Israel. He expressed his support for Israel and free access to visit the holy sites in Jerusalem. For more, click here.

Rugby’s global governing body has determined that the South African Rugby Union’s decision to disinvite an Israeli team from an international competition last month was not discriminatory. The decision to exclude Israel came after pressure from the South African BDS Coalition, an affiliate of the Palestinian BDS National Committee that promotes the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. World Rugby claims that the exclusion was due to threats of violence against the Israeli team.

China and Israel continue to make progress on a free trade agreement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China reports that, at the end of March, a further round of direct talks on the agreement took place between representatives of the Israeli and Chinese governments. This is the eight round of talks since 2016 and the first since November 2019 to be held face-to-face. China is Israel’s second largest trading partner. The value of trade between the two countries rose 11.6% in 2022 to $24.45 billion. About 18,000 vehicles of Chinese manufacture were sold in Israel in the first quarter, representing 17% of the market and a 450% increase over the first quarter of 2022. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-24-2023

News Update

The IDF, last night, reportedly shelled a military post belonging to a pro-Iranian militia in Syria, near the Israeli border. Defense Minister Yoav Galant said last week, “We continue to strike Iranian assets. We will not allow Iran to set up a military force in Syria.”

Security forces arrested 16 terror suspects in overnight raids throughout the territories.

Imad Al-Adwan, a member of Jordan’s parliament, was arrested at the King Hussein Bridge border crossing from Jordan on Saturday, after allegedly attempting to smuggle 200 handguns and assault rifles including m-16s, as well as gold, inside three bags, and planned to deliver them to the West Bank. He was transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning.

The Israeli Navy announced Sunday that three of their four new Sa’ar 6-class Corvettes, which were purchased from Germany two years ago, were operational and their main task will be to protect Israel’s offshore gas fields. The fourth will become operational soon. The ships possess Anti-missile systems and high-trajectory interception based on “Adir” radar systems, Naval Dome, and an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device). In addition, the warships have sea-to-sea missile capability with a system that will have more accurate offensive abilities, longer ranges, improved operational flexibility, and better capabilities to face advanced threats. The Sa’ar 6 Corvettes will also possess air and surface target detection capabilities, and the ability to carry mid-size helicopters, such as the Seahawk.

Likud MK May Golan will not be appointed to the position of Consul General of Israel in New York, apparently due to strong opposition from the U.S. government and the American Jewish community. For more, click here.

The High Court of Justice has ordered Defense Minister Gallant to allow around 150 Palestinians invited to the annual Joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony to enter the country for Monday evening’s event. The ruling follows Gallant’s decision earlier this month to block the Palestinians from entering Israel for the joint ceremony, due to what he termed “the complex security situation” in the West Bank. For more, click here.

The Temple Mount reopened to Jewish visitors today, after being closed for the last 12 days of Ramadan and during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Jews can visit the Temple Mount Sunday-Thursday from 7-11:30 a.m. and from 1:30-2:30 p.m. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called on Israelis to visit the Temple Mount “today, on Independence Day and every day. Realize the Jewish connection to the place and enjoy the fruits of the intense and dedicated police activity for the security and protection of the pilgrims to the Temple Mount against the enemies of Israel.” To learn more about visiting the Temple Mount, click here or visit

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-21-2023

News Update

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in an interview on Wednesday that a visit to Saudi Arabia was on the table, although there is no date yet. He also said that at least one more country would join the Abraham Accords this year. Earlier on Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jeddah.

According to an Axios report, during a visit to the West Afican country Niger last month, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken urged Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum, to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel. Niger severed diplomatic ties with Israel during the second intifada in 2002.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has chosen Likud MK May Golan to the high profile post of Israel’s consul general in New York. Former diplomats are not pleased with the choice. For more, click here.

Muslims today are celebrated the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Ten of thousands of Muslims are expected to worship in Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount. Israel’s Foreign Ministry tweeted, “While tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers arrive calmly for the morning prayer of Eid el-Fitr, there is still a handful of rioters who arrive to disturb & harm their fellow worshipers, to desecrate a holy place & to incite terrorism.” Jews have been prohibited from visiting the Temple Mount during the past couple of weeks, but will once again be allowed up starting this Sunday.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-19-2023

News Update

A 15 year old Arab from a village near Nablus shot and wounded 2 Israeli men as they were driving through the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah yesterday to pray at the tomb of Shimon Hatzadik, which is located in the neighborhood. Security forces apprehended the terrorist today. The terrorist had posted his attack on Facebook.

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced terrorist Sant al Turman to 30 years in prison for his 2020 ramming attack that wounded 12 IDF Golani soldiers. The terrorist must also pay a 300,000 shekel fine, to be divided by the wounded.

Syrian journalists and opposition figures are reporting that the IDF shelled positions identified with Hezbollah and members of pro-Iranian militias in the outskirts of the town of Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku today. Cohen’s said they spoke about “our shared strategic regional challenges, especially regional security and the fight against terrorism.” Cohen will fly to Turkmenistan later today to open Israel’s embassy in Ashgabat. Both Azerbaijan, which is majority Shiite, and Turkmenistan border Iran. Foreign reports have indicated that Azerbaijan likely allows Israel to use bases on its soil to launch reconnaissance flights over Iran and to send intelligence operatives into the country to disrupt its nuclear program. Israel supplied 69 percent of Azerbaijan’s major arms imports in 2016-2020. Azerbaijan supplies Israel with over 30% of its oil.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-17-2023

News Update

Police shot and wounded a 20 year old Arab resident of east Jerusalem who was vandalizing Jewish owned cars in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of east Jerusalem and refused to stop and submit to questioning. When police officers arrived on the scene they saw the suspect wearing a coat and holding an object in his hand. At the same time, an explosion occurred from inside one of the cars, which was allegedly set by the suspect. Police asked him to remove his coat to determine that he was not carrying an explosive device. He ignored the police and continued to mumble religious verses including Allahu Akbar. It was then that police shot and wounded him.

Israel is involved in talks with the government of Sudan and the Sudanese rebels to try and broker a peace agreement and end the fighting that broke out recently.

Talks between the government and opposition regarding the judicial reform have resumed in the President’s residence.

Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the former Shah of Iran will arrive in Israel today to attend Holocaust Memorial Day events with President Herzog and Prime Minister Netanyahu. He is expected to address the threats from Iran at the national event to be held at Yad Vashem tonight. For more, click here.

The Moody’s credit rating agency downgraded the outlook for Israel’s sovereign credit rating from “Positive” to “Stable”. This could have a significant effect on international investments in Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Finance Minister Smotrich pushed back saying, “The fear raised by the Moody’s analysts concerning the controversy among the public and its effect on Israel’s political and economic stability is natural for anyone who is not familiar with the resilience of Israeli society. As people who believe in the strength of Israeli society, in its unity and its ability to get through disputes and crises, as we have done many times in the past, we are sure that, with God’s help, that will be the case this time too. The State of Israel is a strong democracy and for that very reason the citizens of Israel engage in discourse on matters in dispute in Israeli society, and these are indications of the strength of Israeli democracy.”

Prices of new apartments on the free market in Israel have fallen 5.8% in four months, equivalent to an annual fall of 18%, and a serious warning sign for the entire real estate sector, according to figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Residential rents continue to rise, fueling inflation, which then causes interest rate hikes. For more, click here.

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, will begin tonight with a memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem, at which the Prime Minister and President will speak. Memorial events will take place tonight and throughout the day tomorrow. At 10am a siren will call the country to a 2 minute standstill, to reflect on the Holocaust. All places of entertainment will be closed. Let us remember and reflect on the greatest tragedy to befall the Jewish People, and pledge to do everything we can to assure it never happens again.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-14-2023

News Update

The Jerusalem police and the Border Police deployed thousands of personnel in the capital today, the last Friday of Ramadan, in light of warnings by security agencies of violence in Jerusalem and the territories. Tens of thousands of Muslims are expected to pray on the Temple Mount today. But as a result of recent rioting on the mount, only around 20,000 worshippers have been coming there to pray in recent days. In an attempt to prevent further violence and unrest, the government has prohibited Jews from visiting the Temple Mount until after Ramadan. So far, Jerusalem is calm. Also, the Prime Minister has retracted his firing of Defense Minister Gallant.

The IDF is hunting for the terrorists that murdered 3 members of the Dee family of Efrat last Friday — mother Lucy and daughters Rina (15) and Maia (20).  The IDF said the identity of the assailants in the Dee family murder was known to them and their capture was near. To watch a press conference by the Leo Dee, the bereaved husband and father of the terror victims, click here. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Herzog have been speaking to senior officials at Moody’s Investors Service ahead of its pending release of Israel’s credit rating, which is expected to be less favorable than before as a result of the potential economic fallout if the judicial reform becomes law. For more, click here.

The Wall Street Journal reported that while quiet cooperation on security matters, intelligence and business continues, efforts to expand Israeli-Saudi relations as well as ties with other Sunni states, have slowed considerably as a result of increased Palestinian violence and government approval of settlement expansion.

Israeli basketball players and fans came under attack from Greek crowds during the FIBA Champions League quarterfinal series in Athens on Wednesday. Crowds held pro-Palestinians signs and flags, burned the Israeli flag, threw firecrackers onto the court and threw rocks at the Israeli fans in the stands. Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikly condemned the events and said he would demand an investigation and that the culprits be severely punished. Meanwhile, Israel signed a NIS 1.44 billion ($400 million) deal to sell Spike anti-tank missiles to Greece.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-5-2023

News Update

Police surrounded the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount last night to remove dozens of masked Palestinians who had barricaded themselves inside the mosque with fireworks, clubs and stones. When the militants refused to come out peacefully, police entered by force. Palestinians attacked police with fireworks and rocks. Police reported that 350 people were arrested. The masked militants were reportedly planning to disrupt and attack Jewish groups planning to visit the Temple Mount on Passover. One police officer was injured in the leg by a stone. The Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia condemned the “intrusion” into Al Aqsa.

Following the Temple Mount incident, Islamic Jihad terrorists launched a barrage of rockets from Gaza at Israeli communities. The IDF responded this morning by striking Hamas military targets in Gaza including a weapons factory and a weapons storage facility. Terrorists then fired another rocket barrage. In total, between 16 and 18 rockets were fired. Most of the rockets were either intercepted by the Iron Dome or landed in open areas. One of the rockets struck a factory in the Sderot industrial area, causing damage.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called for the security cabinet to be convened. He said, “The government of which I am a member should respond strongly to the rocket fire from Gaza. Hamas rockets necessitate a response beyond the bombing of dunes and uninhabited sites. It’s time for heads to roll in Gaza.”

An IDF soldiers was shot and wounded during an operation in the village of Beit Ummar near Hebron this morning. Troops returned fire and are hunting for the terrorists.

A terrorist from Hebron stabbed 2 IDF soldiers yesterday at a junction in Be’er Yaakov, near Rishon Letzion. Civilians at the scene overpowered the terrorist. On Monday night, terrorists fired at a Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa. No one was injured. The walls of four homes were grazed by bullets. Fatah and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack and released a video of the shooting.

Syrian media reported that Israel launched airstrikes targeting Damascus International Airport and the southern Damascus area yesterday. This is the fourth strike in the last week.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s firing of Defense Minister Gallant last week is apparently on hold because of security concerns. Gallant will remain in the Defense Ministry for now although he has yet to meet with the prime minister, who is demanding a public apology in return for the ability to retain his job, a condition Gallant has refused to accept.

The head of the Shin Bet said yesterday that the internal security service has thwarted over 200 significant terror attacks since the beginning of the years.

Electric car prices in Israel might be heading lower after Tesla decided to drop the price of its Tesla Model Y Electric Crossover by NIS 50,000. For more, click here.

Passover begins tonight and lasts for 7 days in Israel and 8 in the diaspora. The holiday represents God’s redemption of the Jewish People from Egyptian bondage, the formation of the Jewish nation and the eternal bond between God and the Jewish nation. We destroy our chametz (wheat related products), which represent haughtiness and Ego, and eat Matzah, which represents humility and modesty.

On a personal note, yesterday morning I had the opportunity to visit the Temple Mount for the first time. I was part of a group lead by Dr. Melissa Jane Kronfeld of High on the Har. It was an incredibly meaningful experience that I hope to repeat many times more.

On the one hand, I felt intense sadness being on the site of the Holy Temple and seeing the actual ruins of that temple and the holy ground occupied by a foreign nation. At the same time I felt an overwhelming sense of holiness and peacefulness.

The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom, which is also the word for “complete” or “whole” in an existential sense. When a person is totally at peace with himself, his identity…with who he is, he is Shalem. Standing on the Temple Mount I experienced that feeling of wholeness and internal peace that I don’t think I have ever felt before. That feeling has stayed with me, and I hope and pray that it continues to do so.

The Holy Temple was the pride and glory and soul of the Jewish People that gave every Jew a sense of wholeness and peace. Even now that it is no longer standing (hopefully only temporarily), it continues to emanate that holiness and peace for those willing to accept and grasp it. You don’t have to physically ascend the mountain to feel that peace but, at least in my case, being there certainly made all the difference in the world. You might feel the same way.

After visiting the Temple Mount, I have a much greater appreciation of what we lost and what we will, hopefully one day soon, have again. I can now mourn for the Holy Temple with greater sadness, and celebrate the holiness and peace that continues to emanate from the Temple Mount with new excitement and passion.

May we merit to be able to celebrate next Passover in the rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Next Year in Jerusalem…in the Holy Temple!

Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-3-2023

News Update

Israeli fighter jets shot down two unmanned aircraft today, one that entered Israel from Syria and the other that was approaching Israeli airspace from Gaza.

IDF troops on a raid in Jenin encountered gunfire and returned fire. Two terror suspects were reportedly killed. The raid was to arrest 2 terrorists involved in a recent shooting that wounded 2 IDF soldiers in Huwara. Both terrorists were arrested.

An alleged Israeli strike against targets in the Homs area in Syria over the weekend reportedly destroyed an airplane hangar, a UAV command and control facility, and a communications vehicle. A Syrian opposition group said a base populated by Hezbollah members was among the military bases hit. This was the 3rd alleged Israeli strike against targets in Syria in the last 4 days.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir urged Jews to visit the Temple Mount during the upcoming holiday of Passover saying, “Jews must go up to the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is not just for Arabs… It’s the most important place in the State of Israel. We won’t give up on it.” He also said that he did not support some extreme groups who want to offer a passover sacrifice on the Temple Mount.