Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-14-18

Embassy Opened
The US embassy in Jerusalem will be officially opened and dedicated at 4pm Israel time today. The embassy will, for the time being, be housed at the current US consulate in the Arnona neighborhood in west Jerusalem and consist of the offices of the ambassador, with around 50 employees. The remainder of the approximately 1,000 US embassy employees will remain in the current embassy building in Tel Aviv until a permanent embassy building can be built in Jerusalem, which could take several years. The US Ambassador will work and host dignitaries in the Jerusalem embassy.

The US delegation attending the embassy opening is led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin along with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Today’s date is significant in that it is the day in 1948 when the State of Israel was declared. It is also the day that the Palestinians commemorate as the “Naqba”, or disaster, on which they usually hold protests.

Gaza Protests
Ahead of the US embassy opening this morning, tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered at the Gaza border with Israel and clashed with IDF troops. According to reports, 16 Palestinians have been killed in the protests and one IDF soldier has been injured. This story is currently unfolding.

For further reading click here.

Tunnel Destroyed
The IDF reported that it destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel that opened just meters from the Erez crossing long the Gaza border. Palestinians said the strike caused no casualties, and that ten missiles were launched at the tunnel, situated in the vicinity of the city of Beit Hanoun. The IDF said that advanced technologies were used to pinpoint the exact location of the tunnel before it crossed the security fence into Israel.

For further reading click here.

East Jerusalem Funding
A comprehensive five-year plan for narrowing economic and social gaps in East Jerusalem was approved by the Israeli cabinet today. The NIS 2 billion plan is designed to help Arab residents of East Jerusalem integrate in Israel’s society and economy. The plan includes allocations for improving transportation, education, employment, welfare, and health.

NIS 445 million will be invested in education over the coming five years, with nearly half of this amount being invested in informal education in East Jerusalem, mainly in a long school day or enrichment lessons in schools. Nearly NIS 200 million will be injected into educational institutions teaching the Israeli curriculum.

NIS 500 million will be invested in improving transportation infrastructure in East Jerusalem, with half of the amount being allocated to detailed planning of the “American road.” A pilot for public transportation lines connecting East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem will begin this year. It is being proposed to invest NIS 1.5 billion in upgrading transportation infrastructure by 2027.

Substantial funds will also be invested in improving healthcare and employment opportunities.

For further reading click here.

East Jerusalem Land
The Israeli government has allocated NIS 50 million for the regulation of all land in east Jerusalem. The plan is to have all east Jerusalem properties registered within the next 7 years and is meant to further strengthen Israeli sovereignty in the contested eastern part of the city. East Jerusalem residents are expected to benefit from the move, since anyone who claims ownership over land would be able to file a petition to the Registration Commissioner and be officially recognized by the state as the land’s owner.

For further reading click here.

Israel Wins
Israeli singer Netta Barzillai won the Eurovision song contest for Israel with her song Toy. The winner was chosen based on popular vote. As a result of the victory, next year’s contest will be held in Israel.

To watch the song video click here.