Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-28-2023

News Update

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visited the Temple Mount yesterday, Tisha B’av, commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temple, both of which were destroyed on the same date. He said, “This is the most important place for the people of Israel where we need to return to show our governance.” Over 2,000 other Jews also visited the mount. A spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Jerusalem responded to Ben-Gvir’s visit saying, “the US stands firm in preserving the historical status quo in relation to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Any unilateral action or rhetoric that endangers the status quo is unacceptable.” The Palestinian Authority, Jordan Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all condemned the visit, calling it an “attack” and “assault” against the Moslem holy sites located on the Temple Mount.

According to a Yediot Aharonot report, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) is working on forming a unity government that would include the Yesh Atid and National Union parties in place of the Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties. Gallant reportedly said that he would consider resigning as Defense Minister in order to for a unity government.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Thursday signed a framework agreement with Ivory Coast in the fields of agriculture, water and technology. Cohen had led a business delegation of a variety of Israeli companies in the fields of cyber, agriculture and energy to the Israel-Ivory Coast Economic Forum. On Wednesday, he visited Ghana, where he met with President Nana Akufo-Addo and opened the first Israel-Ghana business forum.

Credit rating agency S&P published a special report on Israel’s economy in which it complimented the strong Israeli economy, but warned against the consequences of the changes promoted by the government in the legal system. It said, “In the short term, we anticipate that the political uncertainty, together with weak economic performance by Israel’s allies in Europe and the United States, will reduce economic growth in Israel in the next two years.”

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-26-2023

News Update

As you’ve probably already heard, on Monday the Knesset passed the first bill in the Judicial Reform initiative, canceling the reasonableness clause that gave the High Court the ability to override legislation it deemed unreasonable. The vote was 64-0, as the opposition boycotted the vote. Half the country (as well as Israel’s enemies) is smiling and the other half crying. Most of the major papers published black front pages. Security for government ministers has been increased. Protests continue.

Several appeals against the bill have been submitted to the High Court, which will now have to decide whether to attempt to override the bill (that restricts its power to override bills) or let it stand. For more, click here.

The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (UTJ) Party proposed a bill yesterday that would treat Torah study the same as military service. The proposed legislation states that since the study of the Torah is of vital importance to the State of Israel, those who undertake it for an extensive period of time would be considered as having served the nation. UTJ leaders say that the proposed bill is in line with promises given them by PM Netanyahu as part of their coalition agreement. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, “Torah study is an important facet that preserves us as a people and I hold it in high regard. It is important to remember- there is no place to equate military service with Torah study.” Former IDF chief of staff and current MK Gadi Eizenkot said that the proposed legislation would be a fatal blow to the IDF’s role as the people’s army and must be rejected.

Defense officials are saying that terrorists are rebuilding their infrastructure in Jenin and that the IDF will probably have to go back into Jenin again.

Security forces arrested 32 suspected terrorists in a massive overnight raid across the West Bank.

Israel and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement yesterday in Jerusalem. In 2022 Israel exported goods worth $175 million to Vietnam, up from $158.9 million in 2021, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports. Israel imported goods worth $278 million from Vietnam in 2022, down from $337.5 million in 2021. It is hoped that the free trade agreement will boost these figures. Israel’s exports to Vietnam include chemicals, machinery, medical and optical equipment, rubber, and plastics, while imports from Vietnam include machinery, fresh agricultural produce, and food products. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-24-2023

News Update

The Knesset is expected to vote on the the first bill in the judicial reform agenda later today. Opposition leaders said they would boycott the vote. Over the weekend hundreds of thousands of people participated in demonstrations for (in Tel Aviv) and against (in Jerusalem) judicial reform.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi wrote in a letter to troops yesterday that, without unity in the country, Israel will not survive in the Middle East. The letter was in response to threats by thousands of reservists to refuse to serve if the reforms move ahead. Halevi will meet with the Prime Minister and other ministers today, to brief them on the situation.

US President Biden released a statement yesterday in which he said, “It doesn’t make sense for Israeli leaders to rush this — the focus should be on pulling people together and finding consensus.From the perspective of Israel’s friends in the United States, it looks like the current judicial reform proposal is becoming more divisive, not less.”

Around 150 Israeli companies are striking today in protest of the reforms.

Prime Minister Netanyahu had a pacemaker implanted yesterday, but was released today in good health and plans to participate in the judicial reform vote later today. His upcoming to visits to Turkey and Cyprus have been postponed.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-21-2023

News Update

Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday that there were talks underway to reach a broad agreement on the final wording of the first bill in the judicial reform agenda that is scheduled for a final vote on Monday. The bill would curb judicial oversight on legislation. He also said that the opposition has refused any comprise on the reforms. Tens of thousands protested against the reforms yesterday. A massive protest in front of the Knesset is planned for Saturday.

Hundreds of Jews who were praying at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus yesterday morning, under heavy IDF protection. The troops came under attack, with gunfire and explosive devices. The troops returned fire and reportedly killed 1 terrorist and wounded several others.

President Herzog received at least 30 standing ovations during his address to a joint session of Congress in Washington this week. Herzog’s father, Chaim, who was the first ever Israeli President to address a joint session of Congress. For more, click here.

Stephanie Hallett, the US Embassy Jerusalem’s Deputy Chief of Mission, took over for ambassador Tom Nides today. Nides stepped down from his role and Hallett has assumed responsibilities as the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires. She will continue in the role until the Senate confirms a new ambassador.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI has invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit Morocco. In the letter of invitation, the king thanked Israel for its intent to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara and added that such a visit “will open up new possibilities for bilateral relations between Morocco and Israel.” Thee Prime Minister will meet with Turkish President Erdogan next week in Turkey.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-17-2023

News Update

Prime Minister Netanyahu was taken to the hospital on Saturday after suffering from dehydration while vacationing on the Kinneret. He he was kept in hospital overnight in the cardiology ward and ended up having a heart monitoring device implanted. No further information regarding the PM’s health is available.

Security forces arrested 15 terror suspects in raids throughout the territories last night.

A 37 year old man and his two daughters, 14 and 9, were injured in a shooting attack near the Tekoa junction yesterday. According to the initial investigation, several terrorists arrived in the area of the intersection in a vehicle, and at least one of them got out and opened fire. Security forces captured the terrorist later in the day, after a shootout outside the mosque the terrorist was hiding in, in Bethlehem.

Israel warned Hezbollah to cease making provocation along the Lebanese border. Hezbollah has been testing Israel’s resolve over the past few weeks. For more, click here.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant summoned the Chief of Staff and the IDF’s General Staff for an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the growing number of reservists who notified the military that they would no longer volunteer for service because of the government’s judicial reform initiative. For more, click here.

In Saudi Arabia, references to Jews as monkeys and pigs who worship the devil, and descriptions of them as traitors by nature and sworn enemies of Islam have been removed from school books. Anti-Israeli materials also have been removed, including reports about the Zionists’ use of women, drugs and the media in order to achieve their goals and conspiracies according to which Israel has plans to expand its borders from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-14-2023

News Update

Prime Minister Netanyahu told President Herzog that he has no intention of resuming talks with opposition leaders to reach a compromise regarding the judicial legislation that is in the process of making its way through the Knesset. Netanyahu did, however, say that he would consider softening “softening” the wording of the legislation. President Herzog is scheduled to visit the White House and address Congress next week. For more, click here.

The PM was reported to have told close confidants that he would refuse to halt judicial reform legislation even in the face of a mass refusal by reservists and that Israel can survive “without a few squadrons.” The coalition is expected to pass the “reasonableness” law next week, which will significantly curtail the High Court’s power to overturn laws. The legislation would specifically prohibit Israeli courts from using what’s called the “reasonableness doctrine” to review decisions made by the Israeli cabinet, government ministers, and other unspecified “elected officials, as determined by law.”

Google has announced that its BARD AI chatbot is being launched today in more than 40 languages around the world including Hebrew.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-12-2023

News Update

Tens of thousands of protesters against judicial reform blocked major highways throughout Israel yesterday morning, causing severe traffic jams and gridlock [and making my kids miss camp because the roads were impassable. Protesting is a basic civil right, but disrupting the lives of your fellow citizens is simply inconsiderate and cruel. There are plenty legitimate ways to protest without harming others. Blocking main roads during rush hour is not one of them.] They also cause the international airport to halt flights [and most likely messed up a lot of people’s vacations]. Meanwhile, the Knesset’s Law and Justice committee began its deliberation on a final version of the bill to curb the oversight power of the supreme court over decisions of the executive branch. The bill was approved in its first reading with a 64 to 56 majority late on Monday. Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed that the new law with strengthen democracy. For more, click here.

An Afghan citizen who entered Azerbaijan from Iran was arrested by Azerbaijan security services on suspicion of planning an attack against the Israeli embassy in the country, thanks to a tip from the Mossad. For more, click here.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is on a visit to Azerbaijan until Friday. He will meet with the country’s president Ilham Aliyev, Defense Minister General Zakir Hasanov, Commander of the National Border Guard General Elchin Guliyev and other senior security officials. Israel’s Defense Ministry released a statement saying, “The purpose of the visit to Azerbaijan is to strengthen the strategic relations between the countries, tighten the political cooperation and expand the security-technological ties between the two countries. In his meetings, the Defense Minister is expected to discuss with his colleagues the ways to strengthen regional stability.”

Fourteen Republican senators, led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, have written a letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken, expressing their concerns over the the administration’s policy prohibiting funding Israeli universities located in Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Golan. The senators accused the administration of implementing an “antisemitic boycott of Israel” and warned that unless the policy is revised promptly, they intend to take action that could impact the confirmation process of new administration appointments. To read the letter, click here.

Fans of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team launched flares at fans of Malta’s Hamrun Spartans during an away game on Tuesday, forcing officials to stop the game for half an hour. Israeli fans claim that local fans shouted anti-semitic slurs, chanted “Palestine, Palestine” and threw objects at them. The game was in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Maccabi Haifa beat the Hamrun Spartans 4-0.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-10-2023

News Update

IDF troops at a checkpoint near the Palestinian village of Deir Nizam stopped a suspicious car and ordered the driver out of the vehicle. The driver got out and threw a grenade towards the soldiers and then shot at them with a homemade machine gun. The soldiers returned fire, killing the terrorist.

The security cabinet last night discussed saving the Palestinian Authority from collapse, but did not approve any practical measures or concessions to fulfill that objective. For more, click here. Meanwhile, a delegation of three Palestinian Authority ministers visited Jenin yesterday and met with local officials, apparently as part of an effort to reassert PA control over the city.

A developer who leased a large portion of the Armenian Quarter of the Old City has presented to the Jerusalem Municipality a plan for a luxury hotel complex that would encompass 10% to 20% of Armenian land with the potential to tack on “adjacent” properties during the duration of the lease. The plan would require the eviction of residents, businesses, and the Armenians’ seminary hall. Many Armenians are furious with the plan. For more, click here.

Pope Francis has promoted the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, 58, to the rank of Cardinal.

The Israeli Esports soccer team is participating in an international tournament in Saudi Arabia, with no restrictions as to displaying their identity or playing the national anthem. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-7-2023

News Update

IDF Sgt. Major Shilo Amir, from Kibbutz Meirav, was shot and killed by a terrorist near the settlement of Kedumim yesterday. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The terrorist, a 19-year-old from a village near Ramallah with no prior security violations, was stopped by soldiers who attempted to question him, when he fired at Amir. He attempted to escape but was chased down by troops and killed in a gunfight.

Two terrorists suspected of carrying out a shooting attack earlier this week were killed by security forces in Nablus today. Two Palestinians were injured and 3 arrested.

The Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike on Iranian advanced arms depots in Damascus last night. Syrian air defense systems were not activated.

During the recent Jenin operation, the IDF deployed, for the first time, six new SPIKE FireFly suicide drones. Each drone carries a small amount of explosives and explode precisely and lethally on the target without endangering soldiers. For more, click here.

Israel and the US are reportedly spearheading a plan to create a land route between the UAE and Israel, passing through Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The route would enable the movement of goods by truck, resulting in a cost savings of at least 20% and several days to weeks. For more, click here.

New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu signed an executive order prohibiting the state from investing in or contracting with companies and commercial entities that boycott Israel and its trade partners. New Hampshire is the 37th state to enact regulations against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-5-2023

News Update

The IDF has withdrawn from Jenin after successfully completing a 44 hour long operation to end the Jenin refugee camp’s role as a safe haven for terrorists, to target terror infrastructures, with an emphasis on the laboratories where explosives were produced, to be placed beneath roads used by the IDF, to disable the surveillance cameras that were spread throughout the camp and used to control movements in and out of the area in a manner that hindered IDF operations in the area. The IDF said that 12 terrorists were killed and no civilians were killed. There were many injuries, primarily because terrorists used civilians as shields. Over 300 terror suspects were arrested. For more, click here.

Sgt. First Class David Yehuda Yitzhak, 23, from Bet El, was killed by friendly fire during the IDF withdrawal. He was a member of the elite Egoz commando unit. The IDF is investigating the tragic accident.

Terrorists in Gaza fired 5 rockets into Israel last night. All 5 were intercepted, but one house in Sderot was hit by parts of a rocket, causing damage but no injuries. In response, the IDF attacked Hamas weapons production and underground facilities in Gaza.

Nine people were injured in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv yesterday. Five of them remain in serious condition in hospitals and two are still in danger for their lives. Among the injured is a pregnant woman. The terrorist, a 20-year-old Palestinian, rammed his car into a group of people on the sidewalk. He then got out and began stabbing people. A passing pedestrian managed to shoot and neutralize the terrorist. For more, click here.