Syrian opposition sources and Lebanese media are reporting that Israel carried out airstrikes against a weapons depot near the Syrian-Iraqi border that killed 8 Iranians last night. There was no comment from Israel.
Israel today released two Syrian prisoners, including one jailed for spying for Syria, in what it called a goodwill gesture for the Russian-assisted repatriation last year of the body of Zachary Baumel, the IDF soldier missing in action for close to 40 years. Both men were released “before the end of their imprisonment” in coordination with the IDF. PM Netanyahu confirmed the release, describing it as a “political gesture of goodwill, following the return of the late Zachary Baumel’s body from Syria to Israel.”
Republican and Democratic U.S. senators introduced legislation on Thursday to provide $3.3 billion in annual aid to Israel. The bill would put into law a “Memorandum of Understanding” reached between Israel and the Obama administration from four years ago that was the biggest pledge of U.S. military assistance made to any country. The current formulation of the bill does not include a clause to let state and local governments punish citizens for boycotting Israel, which is what prevented the original from passing last year.
As the storm systems that hit Israel over the last 2 weeks winds down, meteorological services say that the amount of rainfall that hit northern Israel is the largest since 1969. The storms caused major flooding and the deaths of several people.
According to global hotel search data from Google, Tel Aviv was in the top 5 most searched for destinations in December. Israel attracted a record 4.5 million tourists in 2019, up from 4.1 million in 2018.
Finally, the latest election poll shows no change in the balance between the Left and Right, which means…even more elections ahead?