Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-1-19

New Knesset
Israel’s 21st Knesset was officially sworn in yesterday in opening day ceremonies. There are 49 new Knesset members, out of 120.

President Reuven Rivlin addressed the Knesset members saying, “We’ve been through a rough campaign season. We’ve slammed others and got slammed ourselves. Enough now. We must rise above, put our swords aside and clean the dirt. Political strategy can no longer be the only the sole compass.”

After all 120 MKs stood up and declared their commitment to serve, they all sang Hatikvah. The MK’s from the Arab parties refused to sing and left the room instead.

[ Can you imagine members of the US Congress refusing to sing the national anthem? What do you think would happen to them? ]

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Switching Teams
The Likud is reportedly trying to convince several Blue and White Knesset members to switch over to Likud. One of the top targets is freshman MK Omer Yankelevich, the only female ultra-Orthodox lawmaker in the Knesset.

The Likud is hoping to recruit at least one Blue and White MK, thus enabling PM Netanyahu to form a narrow 61-MK coalition without former Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party.

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Rocket Fired
A long-range rocket was fired from Gaza on Monday. It fell into the sea off the Israeli coast. The IDF blamed the Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza for the rocket attack, indicating the threat of possible action against him.

In response to the attack, the IDF restricted Gaza fishermen to a 6 nautical mile area until further notice.

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EU Support
In response to a request by Israel, the EU has decided to increase its financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority by 22 million Euros.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU accepted Israel’s request, noting that “the European Union is and will remain the biggest and the most reliable donor to the Palestinians. European Union assistance to Palestinians has been more than €300 million every year for the last 15 years. This support will continue, because Palestinians have the right to live in dignity and because we Europeans know very well that this money is an investment in security for the Palestinians, for the Israelis, for the region and for ourselves.”

Israel made the request after the PA rejected hundreds of millions of shekels offered by Israel. The money was a portion of the tax revenues that Israel is withholding because the Palestinians are using the money to pay salaries to terrorists and their families.

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Holocaust Stories
During the official Holocaust Memorial ceremony which will take place Wednesday evening at Yad Vashem, six Holocaust survivors will light six torches. The survivors are Bela Eizenman, Shaul Lubovitz, Fanny Ben-Ami, Menachem Haberman, Sara Shapira and Yehuda Mimon. Holocaust survivor Zipora (Feiga) Granat (née Gershenfish) will speak on behalf of the survivors.

To read their stories click here.