Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-7-2022

News Update

US President Biden told PM Bennett, in a phone conversation yesterday, that he was planning to visit Israel later this year. The White House released a statement saying, The two leaders also discussed global challenges outside of the Middle East region, including the potential of further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” and that, “The president underscored his commitment to expanding stability and partnerships across the Middle East region, as exemplified by the Abraham Accords, together with Israelis and Palestinians enjoying equal measures of security, freedom, and prosperity.” Biden also emphasized his full support for replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system. Bennett congratulated the President for the successful US raid that killed the leader of ISIS.

A report released today claims that the Israel Police used Pegasus spyware to hack into the phones of senior government officials, mayors, activist leaders, journalists and family members and advisers to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. To read more, click here.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have ordered the Judea and Samaria High Planning Committee to suspend discussions on approving the construction plan for the E-1 area, which connects Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. According to the Israel Hayom report, the directive to stop the discussions and stop promoting the plan followed fierce objections by the Meretz party, which made it clear that it considered the E-1 plan a “red line”, and the US administration.

Israel Hayom notes that for years, there has been an almost complete consensus in Israel regarding the need to connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem through the construction of E-1, and in the future – to apply Israeli sovereignty over this area, as part of the permanent borders of the State of Israel. Eight prime ministers, including Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, pledged to build in E-1, but with the exception of the construction of a police station in the area, construction has not advanced due to pressure and opposition from the US and the EU.

Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged the African Union to withdraw Israel’s accreditation, as the 55-member bloc opened a two-day summit in Addis Ababa. To read more, click here.

Some Israeli and Palestinian politicians are trying to create a peace proposal that would include an independent Palestinian state, the annexation of major Jewish settlements by Israel, and permission for Jewish settlers to live in the Palestinian state as permanent residents as well as the permission for Palestinians currently living outside of Israel to reside in Israel as permanent residents. To read more about this, click here.

Israel’s Finance Ministry is planning a series of tax and tariff cuts aimed at curbing rises in food and energy prices. The new measures include reductions in the gasoline tax and significant cuts to import taxes on meat, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products.

Over 20% of Israel’s population has tested positive for COVID-19 in 2022. The real number is probably higher. The average daily infection rate this year has been 49,000. Currently, 1,254 are hospitalized in serious condition with complications of COVID-19, with 288 connected to ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic is 9,175.