IDF troops arrested a wanted terrorist this morning near Jenin. Troops came under gunfire attack from Palestinian Islamic Jihad members as they were surrounding the terrorists home. Troops returned fire, killing one terrorist and wounded four others. Eight other terror suspects were arrested in overnight raids.
Religious Zionism party leader MK Betzalel Smotrich reportedly has said that he his willing to drop his demand for the Defense Ministry on the condition that he becomes Finance Minister as well as extensive responsibilities from the Defense Ministry related to Judea and Samaria. Smotrich is demanding that the entire issue of settlements in Judea and Samaria be transferred to the Finance Ministry, so that even if no one is appointed Defense Minister in the end, he will still be able to set the policies for the area. Netanyahu, however, has already given the Finance Ministry to Shas leader Aryeh Deri. But Deri might not be able to serve as minister, since he also served a prison sentence for tax evasion. The US administration is pressuring Netanyahu not to give Smotrich the Defense Ministry, although it’s highly unlikely that Netanyahu would make Smotrich Defense Minister under any circumstances.
Smotrich is also demanding that the coalition agreement include a clause obligating the new government to take steps to apply Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria. Likud is reportedly refusing to do that. Prime Minister Netanyahu had, in the past, been in favor of applying Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, but then decided to shelve those plans in order to sign the Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain.
The Otzma Yehudit party, which ran as part of the Religious Zionism list, has terminated coalition talks with Likud because Likud is refusing to give it the Ministry for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee. The party was reportedly promised the ministry and said that strengthening the Galilee and the Negev was part of its election platform.
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled that former Prime Minster Ehud Olmert defamed Prime Minister Netanyahu and family and ordered Olmert to pay Netanyahu damages totaling around $18,000 as well as legal costs. Netanyahu sued Olmert for remarks Olmert made in 2021.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the Israeli Navy, and Israel’s Ministry of Defense have completed an advanced interception test of the C-DOME Naval Iron Dome missile defense System. The C-DOME is an advanced naval configuration of Rafael’s Iron Dome aerial defense system against short range missiles and is operated from the Israel Navy’s INS Oz Sa’ar 6 Magen class corvette. For more, click here.
Since the beginning of 2022, about 6,500 employees at Israeli tech companies have lost their jobs. For more, click here.