israel news

Israel News for 11-28-18

US Demands
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman condemned the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the arrest of an Arab resident of Jerusalem (who is also an American citizen) who they claim was involved in selling property in the Old City to Jews, and demanded his immediate release. Friedman tweeted, “The Pal Authority has been holding US citizen Isaam Akel in prison for ~2 months. His suspected ‘crime’? Selling land to a Jew. Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release.”

Under PA law, selling land to Jews is illegal and punishable by death. The sentences must be approved by PA President Abbas, who has preferred to order life sentences instead, to mitigate international backlash.

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Peace Plan
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon told journalists that the Trump Administration told him that the US President’s Middle East peace plan is completed and will be release in early 2019. He was not given any details of the plan. He said the timing of the release was discussed with Israel.

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Arms Sale
South Korea is planning to buy two Green Pine Block C radar systems, built by ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. An official at the defense ministry estimated the deal to be worth NIS 330 billion won ($292 million) and said that the systems would be deployed in the early 2020s. The system is intended to boost South Korea’s capabilities to detect and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage.

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Drug Traffic
Israeli police arrested Rami Yogev, the manager of the Development and Resources Department at El Al, for involvement in a large-scale drug trafficking operation. Yogev, 53, has worked for El Al for 25 years.

As part of his job, Yogev serves as the liaison between El Al and the Shin Bet, which determines the security arrangements for EL AL flights and their representatives abroad. Therefore, he is granted a top security clearance—one of the highest in Israel—and is authorized to enter restricted areas housing the planes, and load and unload special supplies, including weapons. He allegedly used his clearance to smuggle large amounts of cocaine to Israel.

Three other men suspected of involvement in the drug trafficking network were arrested. One of the suspects was identified as ex-Shin Bet official Beno Shalom, who served for 12 years as an agent in the Shin Bet’s Jewish Division and was even involved in a secret operation in which he infiltrated an extreme right group.

Yogev’s attorney said that his client “denies these allegations. Due to his classified nature of his job, I cannot elaborate further. We are confident that the police will release him soon.”  The other suspects also denied their involvement.

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Secret Operation
A Lebanese newspaper has published what it claims are the details of the Israeli secret operation in Gaza in which an Israeli Lt. Colonel was killed earlier this month. It reads like an episode of Fauda. To read the details click here.

Ark Coming
A Dutch carpenter, Johan Huibers, who built his own replica of Noah’s Ark has announced plans to sail the 2,500-ton vessel to Israel. The vessel took over four years to build at a cost of $1.6 million, covered by donations. Huibers says he built the ship according to the dimensions detailed in the book of Genesis: “three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits” (Genesis 6). The vessel is 125 meters long, 29 meters across, and 23 meters in height. It weighs about 2,500 tons and contains life-size figures of animals.

The ark don’t have a motor, so it will need to be towed to Israel, which will cost around $1.3 million, but Hubert believes he can raise the money through donations.

To see a photo of the ark click here.