Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-27-18

Tragic Accident
Yesterday, 10 teenagers (12th graders) on a school trip in the Arava (southern Israel) were killed when they were swept away by a flash flood as they were hiking in a wadi (stream). The nine girls and one boy were students at the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv. The other 15 students on the trip were rescued.

The dead students are: Ela Or from Ma’ale Adumim, Romi Cohen from Moshav Maor, Yael Sadan from Jerusalem, Maayan Barhum from Jerusalem, Agam Levy from Moshav Herut, Gali Balelli from Givatayim, Shani Shamir from Shoham, Adi Ra’anan from Moshav Mikhmoret, Tzur Alfi from Mazkeret Batya, also in central Israel and Illan Bar Shalom from Rishon LeZion. Seven of the teens are being laid to rest today. May their memory serve as a blessing for us all.

Israel Police has launched an investigation into the deaths of the teens. According to a police spokeswoman, the organizers of the trip from the pre-military academy ignored flash flood travel warnings issued for the area. Even many of the students expressed hesitation prior to the trip about heading to the area, which is prone to flash flooding. Two staff members of the school, including the principal, have been arrested and a third has been placed under house arrest.

To read more about the teens and to see their photos click here.

For more on the tragedy click here.

DM in Washington
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met yesterday with new US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington DC. The meeting was also attended by Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner. The DM will also visit the Pentagon to meet with US Defense Secretary James Mattis. The visit comes ahead of a May 12 deadline President Trump has set to decide on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

For further reading click here.

Knesset Rabbi
With Knesset Rabbi Alexander Hochman due to retire in a few months, the Knesset will be seeking a new rabbi — male or female. The rule that requires the Knesset rabbi to be ordained by the Chief Rabbinate has been found to be discriminatory against women and been removed. The new rules require applicants to possess a kashrut supervisor certificate from the Chief Rabbinate, which many women have.

The position of Knesset rabbi mostly entails handling the kosher supervision of parliament’s various kitchens, oversight over its synagogues and assorted religious services, installation and maintenance of mezuzot for its hundreds of chambers, sale of chametz before Passover and other duties.

For further reading click here.

Jew Imprisoned
Yemenite news sites are reporting that a Jewish man, identified as Libby Salam Marchabi, was found guilty by the court in the capital of Sanaa, which is controlled by the Iranian backed Houthis, and sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly helping smuggle an ancient Torah scroll out of the country. The “crime” was committed in March of 2016, when Israel covertly brought 19 of Yemen’s remaining Jews to Israel. The Jews brought with them ancient manuscripts, including the Torah scroll.

For further reading click here.

Navy Shabbat
This is how Israel’s navy brings in the Shabbat – click here to watch.