Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-28-2023

News Update

Saudi ambassador to the United States, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, said in an interview, “We want to see a thriving Israel. We want to see a thriving Palestine. Vision 2030 talks about a unified, integrated, thriving Middle East, and last I checked Israel was there. We want a thriving Red Sea economy.” She also expressed her concern over the Israeli government’s current approach in the West Bank, describing it as “extremely concerning.” She added that settlements, in particular, pose problems that need to be addressed. For more, click here. 

Over 100 Israel Air Force reservists signed a letter today stating, “We are announcing today that if the law to abolish the cause of reasonableness, or any other law that is part of the legal reform, passes third Knesset readings, we will be forced to immediately stop our volunteering for reserve service.” Unlike most reservists who are called up for duty with a formal order from the IDF, pilots and other special forces show up for duty more frequently and in a voluntary manner, often not during an emergency, due to the nature of their position. For more, click here.

The Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday summoned the charge d’affaires of Israel’s embassy in Moscow for a reprimand talk related to the statements made by the Israeli Ambassador to Kyiv, Michael Brodsky, that seemed to acknowledge Ukraine’s honoring of historical personalities that persecuted and murdered the Jewish population there. For more, click here.

Sergeant Or Israelov, a 19-year-old IDF’s Paratrooper, was killed late Monday night in a friendly fire incident during an exercise at a military base in southern Israel. The military police have launched an investigation into the event. For more, click here. 

Israel asked Morocco for the extradition of an Israeli Arab citizen wanted in connection to a bombing of a Health Ministry facility in Nazareth in 2021. This is Israel’s first request for extradition from the North African nation since the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-26-2023

News Update

The Mossad said that it cooperated with the intelligence services of Cyprus to thwart an Iranian terror attack against Israelis on the island. The Cypriot intelligence services and Mossad closely monitored for months the movements of the terrorist cell, comprised of intelligence operatives of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which arrived by flight from Russia to the Turkish side of the island. From there, they dispatched operatives to Greek Cyprus, where they reportedly surveilled Israeli targets in Limassol, including the Chabad House, Israeli businessmen and tourists.

Terrorists fired from a passing vehicle at IDF troops at a military post near Nablus yesterday. The troops returned fire and hit the vehicle. There were no Israeli casualties. Troops are searching the area for suspects.

Violence is escalating between Palestinians and settlers in northern Samaria in the wake of last week’s terror attack that killed 4 Israelis near Eli. To read more about this, click here. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to temporarily halt work on a wind turbine farm in the Golan, because of intense protests from parts of the local Druze population. This decision was reached after a late-night assessment of the situation, against the stance of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who advocated for construction to proceed. The National Security Council, Shin Bet and Police all advised against continuing the construction. Construction will resume next Sunday, after the Muslim holiday this week. For more, click here. 

The government of Fiji announced that it will open an embassy in Israel next year. It will be the 98th embassy in Israel.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-23-2023

News Update

Hundreds of settlers have gathered at the Evyatar outpost in northern Samaria and have begun building a settlement, with government approval. The settlement was begun 2 years ago, but was evacuated in a compromise with the Bennet government, with the promise of resuming construction after the government conducted various land surveys. The settlement building was not resumed until now. The outpost is still officially considered illegal, but settlers are hoping that the current government will make it legal.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said, “We’re in Evyatar to stay. The government needs to approve the settlement today, regardless of the terror attack. But certainly, after so much blood was shed, the response needs to be the establishment of new settlements. Evyatar is legal seeing that the Israeli government signed an agreement for it.”

In the wake of settler violence against people and property in the Palestinian village of Turmus Aya, in revenge of the the terror attack that killed 4 Israelis earlier this week, US State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said, “We are concerned about reports of attacks by extremist settlers against Palestinians. We condemn these violent acts. We expect the Israeli government to prosecute those responsible for these attacks in addition to providing compensation for the property destroyed.” One Palestinian was killed and 3 wounded in the violence.

Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar spoke with UN officials and warned that the Palestinian Authority has lost its ability to enforce order in the West Bank areas under their jurisdiction. He added that there are lawless areas in the northern West Bank, which is the reason the IDF has to operate there.

Starting next month, Palestinians with American citizenship residing in the West Bank will be able to use Ben Gurion Airport, just like Israeli citizens. Palestinians must leave and reenter the West Bank via Jordan. But to fulfill the requirements to enter the visa exemption program with the US, Israel must grant equal treatment to all American citizens, irrespective of their origin. For more, click here.

Israel’s carrot and potato exports this year are breaking records, aided by a drought in Spain, Portugal and Italy and a wet winter in Israel. Russia had been Israel’s largest export market for carrots and potatoes, but the Ukraine war has made exports to Russia difficult.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-21-2023

News Update

Two terrorists shot and killed 4 Israelis and wounded 4 others at a gas station on Rt. 60 near the settlement of Eli in Samaria yesterday.  The victims were Elisha Antman, 17, Harel Masoud, 21, Ofer Fairman, 60, and Nachman Shmuel Mordoff, 17. Three of them were eating at the Humus Eliyahu restaurant and the fourth was filling his car with gas. The terrorists used M-16 rifles. One of them was shot and killed by a civilian, who was also shot and wounded. The other terrorist escaped but was killed by troops 2 hours later, in the area. To read more about the attack and the victims, click here.

The IDF urged settlers not to take the law into their own hands. A security official said, “This kind of behavior just provokes more terror and is a burden on security forces who are stretched to the limit in the area. The IDF is dealing with nationalistically motivated criminal acts instead of operating against the terrorists. Just in the past few days, some terror suspects who were arrested said they set out to launch attacks to avenge the burning of homes and cars in Huwara last February.”

In the wake of the attack, the government approved the construction of 1,000 new homes in Eli.

The IDF recently identified a Hezbollah position, made up of two tents, set up on the Israeli side of the international border with Lebanon at Mount Dov. The position crosses a few meters past the blue line demarcating Israel’s demilitarized zone, between the Zivonite and Gladiola IDF outposts, and is manned 24 hours a day by Lebanese troops, including a number of armed Hezbollah members. The IDF says that the position is not a threat, but it views it as a provocation that constitutes a border violation. Israel is working to evacuate the position through diplomatic channels. The border area around Mt. Dov does not have a border fence.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-20-2023

News Update

Seven IDF soldiers and Border Police were wounded in a major arrest raid in Jenin yesterday when their armored vehicles came under heavy attack. The lead vehicle was damaged by explosive devices planted in the road. The four other vehicles came under heavy fire and were immobilized. IDF Apache helicopters were called in to attack the terrorists. This was the first time in 20 years that airpower was used in Judea and Samaria.  At least 6 terrorists were killed and at least 100 wounded.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said overnight Monday in an official statement that the United States is “deeply troubled by Israel’s decision to promote approximately 4,500 housing units in the West Bank, and by the reports of changes in the administration of the settlements that accelerate the planning and approval of construction.” The plans for building the housing units were publicized on Sunday. The UN Secretary General also urged Israel to reverse the decision, calling the settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace. For more, click here. 

Israel has decided to give approval to the development of the Gaza Marine natural gas field off the Gaza coast. The project has to be coordinated with the security services and is subject to direct talks with Egypt in liaison with the Palestinian Authority and to the completion of inter-ministerial staff work led by the National Security Council on preserving Israel’s security and diplomatic interests. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-16-2023

News Update

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on Wednesday said it was developing a new system that would be able to intercept incoming hypersonic missiles traveling at five times the speed of sound. The announcement comes after Iran unveiled its first domestically-made hypersonic ballistic missile.

The US Department of Defense should soon approve an Israeli sale of hundreds of Merkava Mark 2 and Mark 3 tanks,  manufactured in Israel in the 1980s and 1990s, that have been decommissioned in recent years, to two foreign countries – one of them in Europe. The deal, expected to close in 3 months, will include over 200 tanks. The tanks include American made parts, which is why US approval is needed. Yesterday, Israel’s Defense Ministry reported an all-time record of $12.5 billion in sales of Israeli weapons to the world in 2022. For more, click here.

Israel is worried that American-made weapons supplied to Ukraine will be captured and handed over to the Iranians, who can then use them to improve their own weapons manufacturing. Captured U.S.-made Javelin missiles and Next-Generation Light Anti-armor Weapons (NLAWs) manufactured in the United Kingdom have already been sent to Iran. For more, click here.

CNN has released a report claiming that IDF soldiers failed to protect the village of Huwara’s residents, didn’t prevent the Jewish settlers from causing destruction and setting fire to dozens of houses and cars, and stood by as emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, were blocked from reaching the scene. Huwara is the village where numerous Israelis have been killed and wounded in terror attacks this year. For more, click here.

Russia has agreed to open a branch of its embassy in Jerusalem. The agreement includes various real estate concessions by the Jerusalem municipality. For more detail, click here.

A gang war is happening in Ramat Gan, which is making residents feel unsafe. Gang violence includes assassination attempts using explosives and shootout in broad daylight in residential areas. To read more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-12-2023

News Update

The IDF has recently created a new Iran branch, in the Military Intelligence Directorate. The new branch is intended to be the lead point in the IDF’s preparations for a scenario of wide and overt military confrontation with the Iranian military. In general, the branch focuses on intelligence learning, similar to the preparations for up-to-date intelligence-based training for combat with Hezbollah and Hamas. One of the departments within the branch is considered operative, collecting intelligence on the regular army of the IRGC. The branch consists of only 30 soldiers and it doesn’t have a name yet, but it is responsible for preparing the IDF for a war against Iran. For more, click here.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced that Israel would send hundreds of thousands of liters of mineral water and more than 10 tons of food to Ukraine in the wake of the floods caused by the destruction of a major dam. The food and drinking water will be distributed by volunteer organizations that work with the Israeli Embassy in Kyiv, and are expected to be purchased in Ukraine in order to help the country’s economy. The aid is expected to reach the Kherson area on Monday or Tuesday.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry recently announced that it’s expanding its presence on social media platforms and establishing two new departments, the TikTok and Instagram departments. Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who headed the initiative, said: “This initiative complements other projects aimed at recruiting influential figures and young Israelis to promote Israel’s positive image around the world.”

Germany’s efforts to purchase Israel’s Arrow 3 Missile Defense System are advancing. The German government will ask legislators for approval next week for payment of an advance of over half a billions euros. The total cost is around 4 billion euros. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-9-2023

News Update

A Palestinian attempting to assault an IDF soldier and steal his weapon at a checkpoint near Ramallah was shot and killed by troops. The soldier was lightly hurt and taken to a hospital for further treatment.

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana visited Morocco and spoke before the Moroccan Parliament in Rabat this week. He is the first Speaker of the Knesset to visit a Muslim country. While there he announced Israel’s recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. For more on the visit, click here.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Blinken in a phone call on Thursday that Israel will not be obliged to keep the terms of any nuclear deal made with Iran. This came after a media report that the US and Iran were nearing an interim deal — which the White House later denied.

Infrastructure works have begun on a new neighborhood in the northwest corner of Tel Aviv that will eventually house 50,000 people. The plan has suffered from many delays and construction is still not ready to begin but the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is investing hundreds of millions of shekels in the infrastructure.

Tens of thousands of people participated in a Tel Aviv Pride Parade on Thursday afternoon.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-7-2023

News Update

An Israeli driver was wounded when 10 shots were fired at his car as a drove through the village of Huwara yesterday. He managed to drive to an IDF post. On Monday, an IDF soldier was wounded in a ramming attack in Huwara.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen visited the Philippines this week, the first Israeli foreign minister to do so in 56 years. He met with the Philippines president and foreign minister in Manila and discussed strengthening bilateral relations, as well as exploring new opportunities brought about by the signing of the Abraham Accords. Cohen also presented an initiative to establish a maritime and land transportation route between Asia and Europe through the Middle East and Israel, which would significantly reduce international shipping costs. He also inaugurated the new wing of the Israeli Embassy in Manila and met with representatives of the Jewish community.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia yesterday and discussed a wide range topics including the potential for normalization of relations with Israel, and agreed to continued dialogue on the issue.

During a speech she delivered at the reception at Israel’s Embassy in Washington D.C. dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Israel, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris commented on the judicial reform issue and stressed that Israel needs “an independent judiciary”. She also said that the US will continue to build on Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, as well as the historic Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, and that the Biden administration will continue to work toward a “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In response to the speech, Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen told an interviewer that Harris did not understand the elements involved in the judicial reforms. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-5-2023

News Update

Three IDF soldiers were killed on Saturday by an Egyptian border guard who infiltrated into Israel from Sinai. The terrorist carried a Koran, a knife and six magazines for his rifle. He first attacked an Israeli guard post where he shot and killed Sergeants Lia Ben-Nun, 19, and Ori Izhak Ilouz, 20. IDF troops then hunted down the terrorist and engaged in a shootout, in which Sergeant Ohad Dahan, 20, was killed. The terrorist was shot and killed. An initial investigation found that the Egyptian police officer had planned the attack in detail and entered Israel through an opening in the border fence designated for emergencies. The area is frequently used by drug smugglers, and IDF troops there regularly thwart smuggling attempts. To read more about the details of the incident, click here.

The Egyptian forces deployed along the border with Israel are part of Egypt’s internal security directorate, not the Egyptian military, and are lightly armed with no armored vehicles. The terms of the peace agreement signed with Israel in 1979 stipulate that no military personnel can be deployed to the Sinai except on a narrow strip east of the Suez Canal. Over the past decade, when Egypt requested to bring forces in to combat ISIS forces in northern Sinai, Israel has always consented. For more, click here.