israelam news

Israel News for 3-14-18

Gaza Conference
Representatives of nearly two dozen countries and international organizations gathered yesterday at the White House for a meeting to discuss aid for Gaza. The meeting was led by top U.S. Middle East negotiator Jason Greenblatt.

Greenblatt highlighted the poverty in Gaza and said, “We asked you here because we believe we can do much better – we must do much better.” Jared Kushner presented concrete ideas to assist the people of Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority boycotted the meeting, in protest of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. UNRWA, the UN relief organization that provides most of the relief in Gaza, was not invited.

The full list of participants includes: Bahrain, Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, the European Union, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, the Middle East Quartet, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.

The White House called the 6 hour meeting a success.

For further reading click here.

Compromise Reached
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation last night unanimously approved a compromise deal to avert a government collapse and new elections. The deal allows for the passage of the Draft Bill, which exempts yeshiva students from military service, while permitting coalition MKs to vote against it if they so choose. That means that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and members of his party will be able to vote against the Draft Bill without being fired.

To read details of the compromise deal click here.

Assassination Attempt
A bomb was detonated near Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s convoy, just minutes after he crossed into Gaza from Israel at the Erez crossing. Hamdallah was visiting the area to inaugurate a desalination plant established within the framework of reconciliation with Hamas. Hamdallah was not harmed, but several of his guards were injured.

PA President Abbas condemned the assassination attempt and said, “this crime was planned and its targets and perpetrators are well-known. It is consistent with the attempts to avoid allowing the Palestinian government to operate in Gaza, undermine the reconciliation and to destroy the national enterprise by separating Gaza from the West Bank in order to establish a questionable state in the Gaza Strip.”

For further reading click here.

Birth Rate
According to Central Bureau of Statistics data on birth and fertility published Tuesday, Israel’s overall fertility rate was 3.14 children per mother in 2016. That’s the highest fertility rate among nations who are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The average OECD rate averages around 2.1 children.

Communities with highest overall fertility rates were Haredi cities and Bedouin communities in the south. Those with the lowest rate, on the other hand, were mostly Druze, or communities housing either the upper socioeconomic echelons of Israel’s population or a relatively high percentage of olim.

A total of 191,405 babies were born in Israel in 2016. By religion, 73.9% of babies born in 2016 were born to Jewish women, 20.7% to Muslims, 1.4% to Christians, 1.3% to Druze, and 2.6% to women whose religion was not classified in the census.

The average age of women giving birth for the first time was 27.6. The proportion of babies born to women 30 years or older rose from 40.2% in 2000 to 51.5% in 2016.

For further reading click here.

Spotify Launches
Spotify, the world’s largest music, podcast, and video streaming service officially launched in Israel on Monday. Spotify will charge 20 shekels a month for a premium subscription, in addition to its free service with ads.

For further reading click here.

The Winner Is
We are happy to announce that the winner of the IsraelAM book giveaway is Amee Sherer, the Executive Director of the Hillel at the University of Washington. Upon hearing that she won, Amee said, “I will be thrilled to add these books to our Hillel UW library!” And we’re thrilled that the books will be put to good use in strengthening college students’ connection with Israel.