israel news

Israel News for 1-18-19

Terror Home
The IDF today demolished the home of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld 4 month ago. The home was in the village of Yatta near Hebron.

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Curious Conflict
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) said it is freezing all of its projects constructing security infrastructure in the Israeli communities along the Gaza border because of a dispute with the Finance Ministry. Several months ago, the JNF announced its decision to invest NIS 100 million in security infrastructure in the Israeli communities near the Strip.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement, “The ministry is in a dialogue with JNF officials in order to create a professional process that will give expression to the government’s priorities concerning its joint projects with the JNF. We hope understandings could be reached soon.”

The JNF said that, “in an unfortunate and unclear decision, the attorney general has recently decided to prevent government ministries from continuing their joint projects with the JNF. We sincerely hope this curious decision will soon be amended.”

The regional council heads are appealing to PM Netanyahu to intervene with the Finance Ministry to solve the crisis and allow the important JNF work to continue.

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Election Update
Former IDF chief of staff and the leader of the Israel Resilience Party Benny Gantz launched his election campaign on Thursday, unveiling his “Israel Before All” slogan. He said, “For me, Israel is before everything else. Join me as we embark on a new path, because things must change and we will change them.”

Meanwhile, Yair Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid, published a video on social media in which he is seen shredding a series of laws passed by the coalition if he is elected, with the caption “What they have ruined, we’ll fix.”

A new poll by the Israel Television News Company shows Gantz’s party would gain 13 Knesset seats in the 120-seat parliament on April 9, while Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party would take 32 seats, and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would earn 14 seats. The once-powerful Labor party would win just 9 seats. In fact, 3 Labor party MKs announced yesterday that they would not run in the Labor party primary elections.

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AG Threat
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit indicated Thursday that he will not rule out making a decision on whether to bring corruption charges against PM Netanyahu ahead of the April 9 elections, despite the PM’s demand that he wait until after the elections. A letter sent to the PM by a senior aide to the AG said that, “the work on the investigations concerning the prime minister, which began before the decision was taken to bring forward the elections, will continue as scheduled.” The letter does say, however, that Mandelblit is willing to meet with Netanyahu’s lawyers to discuss the issue next week.

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Arab Softening
In an interviewed on Egyptian television, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the importance of the Palestinian cause has been somewhat “reduced.” He said, “There are more pressing matters we (Arab countries) must contend with, since the Arab world has dramatically changed.” Many Arab political analysts tried to frame his comments to imply that he really didn’t mean it, but some admitted that he was probably hinting at the fact that the Arab nations are moving towards establishing formal relations with Israel.

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Japan Ties
This week, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko is touring Israel with Tokyo’s largest business delegation to the Jewish state to date. Some 150 representatives from 90 companies are taking part, including executives from Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Toshiba.

Seko will meet with PM Netanyahu and the Minister of Economy. A spokesperson for the ministry said, “The Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has encouraged innovation as an important part of his economic policy, which is aimed at reviving the Japanese economy. Since Israel is already well on its way in this endeavor, the Japanese government and businesses view the country as an important source of pioneering technologies.”

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