Israel news summary

Israel News for 10-29-2021

News Update

PM Bennett met with Swiss President Guy Parmelin and asked him to take decisive steps against Iran’s nuclear ambitions in Switzerland’s capacity as member of the board of the International Atomic Energy Association. The two also discussed ways to bolster bilateral relations with an emphasis on innovation and scientific development.

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden released a statement urging Israel not to carry out plans to build 3,000 new housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

PM Bennett was quoted as saying, in a closed meeting, that he predicted that the rotation agreement that would give Yair Lapid the prime minister job in the summer of 2023 will never occur, since the coalition will fall apart before then. The PM’s Office confirmed the remarks but added that Bennett was committed to fulfilling the rotation agreement.

As of Thursday, Google Earth and other online map services show photos of the nuclear facility in the city of Dimona in the Negev, with an option to alter dimensions to improve photo resolutions and see the installations from up close.

The change in the online map services policy came after former U.S. President Donald Trump had ordered to lift restrictions on American-owned satellite imaging – an order that came into effect last summer and reversed a 1997 law lobbied by Israel to protect its military bases. Israel’s military censor did not prevent publication of the images and their availability, although among the military installations open to scrutiny are major air bases where Israel Air Force’s helicopters are clearly visible.

[Before writing this, I had never really used Google Earth. But I tried it out now, and it’s just incredible. Take a trip to the Holy Land from your living room. Amazing!]

The Health Ministry reported that there were 651 new daily COVID-19 on Tuesday. The infection rate now stands at .92%. There are currently 227 people in serious condition being treated in hospitals, with 133 on ventilators. The number of people who have dies from the virus since the start of the pandemic is 8,081. Israel will probably begin vaccinating children under 12 towards the end of November or sooner. This will hopefully be over very soon.

Thousands of people marched in Tel Aviv today, to urge the government to take action to protect the earth’s climate. The PM announced today that Israel will join the list of nations pledging to become carbon neutral by 2050.

It turns out that Jordanian Air Force planes took part in the Blue Flag aerial drill conducted by the Israeli Air Force this week. The news was leaked when a German photographer posted a photo of the drill, which included a Jordanian aircraft. The secret is out…

The shekel is at its strongest levels ever. That’s not such good news for American’s — the US dollar will only buy you 3.15 shekels. But Israelis will be able to get more for their money on overseas trips!