israel news

Israel News for 1-14-19

Syrian Strikes
PM Netanyahu confirmed Sunday that the Israel Air Force (IAF) struck Iranian arms depots near Damascus airport over the weekend. He said, “The wave of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to act against Iran in Syria.” He also said that the IAF has hit “hundreds” of targets belonging to Iran and its proxy Hezbollah in Syria.

The PM spoke in response to a report by the Syrian state news agency that said, “At 11:15 before midnight Israeli warplanes coming from Al-Jalil area launched many missiles towards Damascus area and our air defenses intercepted them and downed most of them.”

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Election Update
Benny Gantz, former IDF chief and leader of the new Israel Resilience Party, made his first political statement this morning, promising to work to amend the controversial Nation-State Law to make it more inclusive for the country’s minorities. The law defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and ends Arabic’s status as an official language of Israel. Critics claim that it discriminates against minorities.

Gantz told Druze protestors, “I will do all in my power to work to amend the legislation, so it will give expression to this bond, the deep bond that cannot be severed—not just in battle, but also in life; not just in difficulties, but also in good times. We’ll do this together.”

Likud Minister Yariv Levin, who sponsored the Nation-State Law, said: “The truth is out and the true motivation of the left-wing candidate Benny Gantz has been exposed. The Nation-State Law, which was passed by the Likud government, enshrines into law the Zionist foundation of the State of Israel, and any attempt to undermine it means undermining the Jewish settlement and the Jewish identity. We will continue defending the state’s identity and prevent any attempt to undermine the Nation-State Law.”

The New Right Party, led by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, said in a statement, “Gantz’s first statement in politics makes it clear: Gantz joined the left wing. The Nation-State is a historic achievement that gives the state back its national, Jewish and Zionist character in light of the ongoing erosion caused by the High Court of Justice. Gantz’s plan to change the Nation-State Law makes his position clear.”

The Druze, who serve in the IDF almost exclusively in combat roles, are vowing to continue protesting the law, which they claim insults their loyalty to the state.

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Saving Flower
The IDF has agreed to relocate an Iron Dome missile defense battery located near the Gaza border after local Israeli residents pointed out that the battery, and the troops operating it, was endangering a rare local flower called “Iris Mariae”.

The IDF spokesman said, “We have started the process of moving the Iron Dome system to an alternative site. The placement of heavy artillery is coordinated with regional councils, the Nature and Park Authority and the Jewish National Fund (which plants trees in Israel. Combat troops appreciate the importance of preserving nature in the area in which they operate.”

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Shabbat Rest
Israeli sining star Omer Adam has turned down an invitation to perform the opening act at the 2019 Eurovision, which will take place on a Saturday night (May 18), because it would require him to participate in rehearsals on Shabbat. Adam, 25, is not religiously observant, but he does not work on Shabbat.

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