Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-22-2023

News Update

IDF forces operating overnight in Nablus’ Balata refugee camp came under attack and returned fire, killing 3 terrorists and wounding 3 others. Troops reportedly raided 25 homes and arrested 5 terror suspects. Around 200 soldiers and 70 military vehicles reportedly took part in the operation.

The Defense Ministry will be significantly raising the budget allocation for reserve troops and implement various incentives such as tax deductions. IDF Reserve units reported a drop in the number of troops willing to come when called, citing the economic burden of a rising cost of living and the need to work more to support their families.

Talks between Israeli and Saudi Arabian officials are proceeding to allow direct flights from Israel to Jeddah for pilgrims traveling to Mecca for the annual Haj, set to begin in June. Israeli Muslims have, in the past, had to travel via Jordan to reach Saudi Arabia. The Jordanian airlines stand to lose a lot of money if directs flights from Israeli are opened, so Jordan might be playing a role in opposing the flights.

National Security Minister Ben Gvir visited the Temple Mount yesterday saying, “We are in charge here.” The US State Department commented, “We are concerned by today’s provocative visit to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif in Jerusalem and the accompanying inflammatory rhetoric. This holy space should not be used for political purposes, and we call on all parties to respect its sanctity.”

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee last week approved plans to build 400 homes for Jews in the town of Abu Dis, which is partly within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and partly outside of the municipality. Abu Dis, with a population of 15,000, has often been suggested as a potential capital of a Palestinian state and is the home to a Palestinian university, an Islamic college and Palestinian Authority offices. To read more about this, click here.