Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-1-19

Election Update
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed PM Netanyahu that he will announce whether to indict him prior to the upcoming elections in April. Mandelblit explained to Netanyahu’s attorneys that “the prosecution is examining the investigative materials in a professional and orderly process, in order to make a fundamental and professional decision as soon as possible. This process has already been decided, even before the decision to advance the elections, and there is no justification to deviate from it.” He added that the public deserved to know Netanyahu’s legal state before heading to the polls and failing to do so would harm the principle of “equality under the law”.

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Election Disruption

According to American media and tech company Vocativ (founded by an Israeli), the Iranians are using hundreds of bots to post content on social media sites in an effort to cause discord among the Israeli public to disrupt the upcoming elections. According to Vocativ’s analysts, there are at least 350 fake Iranian accounts operating on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram, whose posts have the potential of reaching some half a million Israelis every month.

Meanwhile, Facebook announced that it had recently deleted 783 fake accounts and groups that originated in Iran.

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UN in Israel

A delegation of 40 United Nations ambassadors arrived in Israel Thursday morning for a five-day visit led by Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon after visiting Warsaw and the Majdanek extermination camp, where they held a memorial service for the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

The delegation will tour the City of David archaeological site with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, visit the northern border with Lebanon to view the Hezbollah tunnels, and meet with President Rivlin and PM Netanyahu.

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Lebanese Government

Lebanon has formed a new government, which includes Hezbollah. The terror group made significant gains in last year’s Parliament elections and now runs several government ministries including the Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, Hezbollah continues to threaten Israel with invasion and destruction. Go figure.

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Soldiers Indicted

A platoon commander and four combat soldiers from the IDF’s haredi battalion Netzah Yehuda were indicted Thursday for severely beating two Palestinian detainees. The incident took place earlier this month during a manhunt for As’am Barghouti, who shot and killed two soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda Battalion at the Giv’at Asaf outpost. The two Palestinians were arrested on suspicion they helped Barghouti and his brother escape.

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Traffic Deaths

For the first time in 5 years, the amount of people killed in road accidents has dropped. In 2018 the number dropped 13% to 315. Even though it’s still a huge number, it’s still way below the average for developed nations. The number of deaths per 100,000 residents in 2018 was 3.5. The US average is 12.4. The average for high-income countries is 8.3. The global average is 27.5.

Traffic Police Spokesman Superintendent Shahar Gamzo, “Use of cellphones is the main cause of accidents today, without a doubt.” During 2018, although the number of accidents dipped to 11,600, cops wrote over 110,000 tickets for cellphone offenses.

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