israel news

Israel News for 1-7-19

Terror Attempt
Earlier today, a female terrorist approached Israeli Border Police officers at the Tapuach junction in Samaria. Police ordered her to stop. When she continued approaching they fired warning shots into the air. When she again failed to stop they shot at her lower body. Police suspect that she has explosives tied to her body. The terrorist is fully conscious, with bullet wounds in her lower body.

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Gaza Update
Early today, Iron Dome batteries intercepted a missile fired from Gaza. In reposes Israeli aircraft attacked Hamas military targets in northern Gaza. No injuries were reported on either side.

On Sunday, terrorists in Gaza used a cluster of balloons to fly a styrofoam airplane carrying an explosive device into southern Israel. The plane landed in a field in Sdot Negev Regional Council, near the Gaza border, and was neutralized by police sappers. In response, Israel Air Force helicopters struck a Hamas position belonging to Hamas in southern Gaza. Police also urged the residents of the Israeli communities near the Gaza border to immediately report any suspicious devices and leave the area at once.

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Moshe Arens
Moshe Arens, a former defense minister and foreign minister, died today at the age of 93. An engineer by training, the American-raised Arens was instrumental in developing Israel’s military and aircraft industries and served three stints as the country’s defense minister. Aren’s is also known for “discovering” a young Benjamin Netanyahu and mentoring him in the Likud party.

Arens was born in Lithuania in 1925 but grew up in the United States, where he was active in the Beitar youth movement of Likud’s precursor, the Herut party of Menachem Begin. He served in the American military during World War II before immigrating to Israel in 1948.

After completing his engineering degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology, Arens settled in Israel permanently. He worked as a professor of aeronautics at the Technion — the Israel Institute of Technology — and as an executive at Israel Aircraft Industries before going into politics.

Arens was first elected to the Knesset in 1973. In 1982, he was appointed Israeli ambassador to the United States and named his young protégé Netanyahu as his deputy. The position gave Netanyahu great exposure, led to his posting as ambassador to the United Nations and launched his political career.

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Health Stats
According to a new report, Israel’s infant mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world, standing at 3.1 babies per 1,000 births. The rate is also low in comparison to countries with similar public health systems, such as Belgium, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and France. Life expectancy is also relatively high, at an average of 82.5 years.

In 2017, Israel’s national expenditure on health was only 7.3 percent of GDP (gross domestic product), compared to an average of 8.9 percent in developed countries. Countries that have socialized medicine (like in Israel) spend 11% of GDP. So Israel is lagging behind, which is probably adversely effective its medical care.

Doctors’ wages rose by about 42 percent between 2011 and 2017, which is primarily thought to be as a result of private treatments usually paid for by supplemental insurance. The problem is that doctors are charging for private treatments when, in many cases, they should be providing those treatments through the public care system. That also means that people that cannot afford private insurance or payments are, in many cases, getting inferior treatment.

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Smoking Regulations
The Knesset last week voted overwhelmingly in favor of a law to restrict the advertising and marketing of smoking paraphernalia in the country. The new legalization extends current tobacco-related restrictions to e-cigarettes, and limits advertising only to print media, under significant constraints.

The law, which will come into effect in a year, also mandates that all cigarette packages (including e-cigarettes) be painted with Pantone 448c, chosen as the world’s ugliest color in 2016 by market researchers. The Knesset hopes that the muddy, greenish brown color, already used in the UK, France and Australia, will help dampen the brand appeal of the cigarettes.

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