Iran admitted to attacking the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil in northern Iraq with 12 ballistic missiles yesterday. Iran claims it was targeting secret Israeli strategic centers in the city and warned Israel of a “harsh response” if it retaliates. The attack caused damage and one civilian was injured.
In a joint statement with the Romanian foreign minister yesterday, Foreign Minister Lapid condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling it unjustified. He called on Russia “to stop its shelling and attacks and resolve the issues around the negotiating table.” He added that “Israel will help as much as it can to reach a peaceful resolution”.
Israel has yet to join in imposing sanctions against Russia and the Russian oligarchs. If it does so it will need to figure out how to deal with several Jewish oligarchs who hold Israeli citizenship. To read more, click here. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s private jet landed at Ben Gurion airport this morning. But it’s not clear whether he is on board.
The head of the Shin Bet domestic security agency warned the FBI and the Pentagon of the possibility that tensions in Jerusalem would escalate into a new round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will coincide with Passover this year.
Construction and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin said today that, “Planting [trees] will soon be resumed in Israel’s south in areas near unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.” Planting near these villages caused rioting in the past.
According to Channel 13 News, Israel is banning Ethiopian Christian pilgrims groups from visiting the country for the upcoming Easter holiday over fears they will not return home, as a result of the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia. Accused of discrimination, the Population Authority justified the policy, saying that “many tourist groups arriving from Ethiopia over the past years have indeed not returned and remained in Israel illegally.”
Israel will allow Ukrainian refugees who are ineligible for Israeli citizenship but who have relatives in Israel to seek refuge in the country without counting towards a 25,000 refugee cap announced last week by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked. There is no limit to the number of Ukrainians who are eligible to become Israeli citizens under the Law of Return, which includes people with at least one Jewish grandparent.
Our thoughts are prayers are with the Ukrainian people in these dark and dangerous times they are going through.