Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-12-2021

News Update

Iran blamed Israel for a sudden power outage at its Natanz nuclear facility yesterday. According to American and Israeli intelligence officials, the power failure was caused by a deliberately planned explosion, which “completely destroyed the heavily protected internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges that enrich uranium”. They added that it could take at least nine months or even longer to restore the production of uranium at the underground nuclear facility.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Defense Minister Gantz in Israel on Sunday. He said the Biden administration would continue to ensure Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the Middle East as part of a “strong commitment to Israel and the Israeli people”. Austin made no mention of Iran in his remarks to the press.

An Egged bus was heavily damaged late Saturday by stones and firebombs after it mistakenly entered the Arab neighborhood of Isawiya in east Jerusalem. There were no passengers on the bus at the time except for the driver and his family, who managed to escape and call police. During the search of the area that police conducted after the incident, three residents of the neighborhood, including two minors, were detained and taken for questioning.

Joint List MK Ofer Cassif filed an official complaint against police after he was beaten by officers during a protest in East Jerusalem over the weekend. Cassif is the only Jewish member of the Arab party. Footage from the incident showed police officers tackling and kicking Cassif, breaking his glasses and ripping his shirt.

In his effort to form a 61 seat majority coalition, PM Netanyahu has reportedly accepted that the Religious Zionism party will never sit together with the Arab Ra’am party, which is what he was trying to make happen. He now has turned his attention on trying to convince Gideon Sa’ar and his New Hope party to join the government, despite Sa’ar’s vow never to sit in a government with Netanyahu as PM.