Israel News for 10-17-17

Breaking News
The Israeli navy destroyed a suspicious unmanned boat that was entering Israeli waters off of Gaza.

PM Meets Russian DM
PM Netanyahu and DM Avigdor Lieberman met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in Jerusalem today, a day after Israel fighter jets destroyed a Syrian army anti-aircraft missile battery that fired at them.

The PM stressed that Israel will not allow Iran to entrench its military forces in Syria. They also discussed the Iran nuclear deal, which Netanyahu warned would allow the Iranians to build nuclear weapons within 8 to 10 years.

Regarding Shoygu’s visit, Lieberman said, “This is his first visit, and as his first visit as defense minister, it is of extraordinary importance. “We greatly appreciate our relationship with Russia, especially the openness and frankness. We don’t always agree but we always speak frankly and openly. We believe that the moment there is open and frank dialogue, any problems can be overcome.”

Prior to the meeting, Shoygu, as part of his two-day trip, was escorted by Lieberman around the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Lieberman will head to Washington later this week to meet with US Defense Secretary James Mattis to discuss the Iranian issue.
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Sinai Retaliation
According to an London based Arab newspaper, Israeli jets bombed targets in the Sinai Peninsula Sunday evening in retaliation for two rockets launched at Israel from there hours before. According to the unverified report, Israeli jets appeared only once the Egyptian air force completed its own strikes in the areas of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai. ISIS claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.

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No Evacuation
Israel’s Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay drew harsh criticism from many members of his own party for comments that he made in a TV interview relating to settlements.

When asked whether he felt that the West Bank settlements of Ofra and Eli should be evacuated in a future peace agreement, Gabbay replied, “If we make a peace agreement, why should we evacuate? I think that the dynamics or terminology we have become accustomed to here, where ‘if you make peace—you evacuate,’ are not necessarily true. If you make a peace agreement, you can find solutions that do not require evacuation.”

Gabbay also said, “I believe that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews. God promised Abraham the entire Land of Israel, but I also believe that since there are 4.5 million Arabs here, we have to compromise in order to create a situation in which we live in our country with a Jewish majority”.

Despite the attacks from many party members, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amiram Levin, also a member of the Labor Party, expressed support for Gabbay’s remarks saying, “In negotiations one should not concede in advance, Gabbay’s starting point is correct. Thanks to the settlers, we will be able to conduct tough negotiations with the aim of leaving the majority of our settlements without sacrificing security, but we must rid ourselves of our reign over more than 2.5 million Palestinians.”

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Hebron Building
According to a report by left wing watchdog group Peace Now, the Israeli government has approved the construction of 31 housing units in the Jewish area of Hebron. If the report is true, it will be the first time that Jewish homes are built in the city in almost 15 years. There are currently 1,000 Jews living in the heart of Hebron, with its 216,000 Arab residents.

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Yeshivah Blast
In a scene reminiscent of a Hassidic gathering, the famous Lithuanian style Yeshivah Ponevich, in Bnei Brak, celebrated the day after Simchat Torah with a massive, song filled, event.

To watch the event click here.