Israel News for 10-24-17

Hezbollah to Blame
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman claimed yesterday that the five rockets fired into Israel by Syrian artillery on Saturday were not the result of errant fire, but rather a direct order from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

He said, “The fire was carried out by a local cell operated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah did this in isolation of the Assad regime. There was a personal instruction by Nasrallah to compartmentalize Assad and his regime from the execution of this shooting … with the goal of dragging us into the Syrian mire. Therefore I call here both on the Assad regime … and also on the Russian forces that are present there, to restrain Hezbollah. And this is another example of why they should be kicked out of Syria as fast as possible.”

While the IDF acknowledged that the shelling was not accidental, it did not place the blame on any particular party. A defense official noted that “Lieberman’s comments on Nasrallah and the rocket fire on the Golan did not come from the army, but are instead based on his understanding, judgment and perspective.”

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German Subs
The German government has approved the sale of three Thyssenkrupp submarines to Israel and will provide financing for the purchase. The estimated $2 billion deal is under police investigation in Israel over suspected corruption and several public officials and private citizens have been questioned in the case.

The German government spokesman said that Germany would make a contribution of up to 540 million euros to help finance Israel’s purchase, noting Berlin’s “historical responsibility toward the state of Israel.”

PM Netanyahu praised the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries saying, “The MOU is strategically important to the security of Israel. Its signing reflects the commitment of Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel to the security of Israel and the deep cooperation between the two countries.”

The three new submarines are expected to go into service from 2027.

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Binary Options Ban
Yesterday, the Knesset passed a law banning trading in binary options. The vote was 51 in favor and zero against. The bill outlaws gambling on securities even when those gambling (buyers of binary options) are not resident in Israel.

The bill was promoted by the chairman of the Israel Securities Authority Shmuel Hauser and the Israel Police, who pointed out in Knesset committee hearings that the use of Israel as a base for trading in binary options harmed the country’s global reputation, to the point of provoking anti-Semitic outbursts.

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Fourth Tower
The three iconic Azrieli towers that dominate the Tel Aviv skyline will soon be joined by a fourth tower. The new tower was granted final approval by the Tel Aviv planning board yesterday. It will contain 90 floors, 40 of which will be allocated to commercial use. The tower will also contain 200 protected housing units, 60 apartments with up to 65 square meters each, and 240 housing units with an average of 100 square meters each will be built.

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