Israel news summary

Israel News for 3-22-19

Golan Recognition
In a stunning shifting of US policy in the Middle East, President Trump tweeted yesterday, “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

In response, PM Netanyahu tweeted, “At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!”

An official announcement regarding US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is expected to come next week, when the PM visits Washington, where he will have 2 days of meetings with the President and other US officials.

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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) tweeted, “Given current political and security circumstances in Syria, we have said it was inconceivable to imagine Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. @realDonaldTrump’s statement marks a dramatic change in American policy, and we appreciate his leadership on this issue.”

The American Jewish Committee said, “We welcome President Trump’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which acknowledges the history of the region and the facts on the ground. The events in Syria have proven that the entire region is safer with Israel in control of this territory.”

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Meanwhile, both Turkey and the Arab League (including Egypt and the Gulf states) blasted the decision, insisting that the Golan Heights remains occupied territory.

The European Union said, “The position of the EU has not changed. The European Union, in line with international law, does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, including the Golan Heights and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory.”

France, Germany and Russia all issued statements confirming their opposition to Israeli annexation of the Golan, calling it occupied territory.

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Tensions High
Tensions are running high in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank after Israeli security forces killed 4 terrorists in the last couple of days. The Palestinians claim that 2 of the men killed were not really terrorists.

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Big Mistake
Soldiers from one of Israel’s most elite units, the Air Force’s Shaldag commando paratrooper unit, accidentally left a computer containing highly sensitive information at a coffee shop in a gas station after returning from a classified mission. Luckily, a bus driver noticed the computer and handed it over to authorities.

Senior IDF officials say that if the computer had fallen into the hands of the enemy, it would have caused serious damage to Israel’s national security. The Military Police has opened an investigation into the incident and the five soldiers have been suspended from their duties in the unit. The outcome of  the investigation is will determine if and how they are allowed to  continue their service in the unit.

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Top Hospital
Newsweek has ranked Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv as one of the world’s top ten hospitals.

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