Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-25-18

Soldier Wounded
A soldier in the elite Duvdevan unit taking part in an operation to capture a group of terrorists in the al-Am’ari refugee camp near Ramallah was hit on the head and severely wounded by a concrete slab thrown at him from a window. The IDF and Shin Bet are searching for the terrorist who threw the slab. The wounded soldier is fighting for his life at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Regarding the soldier’s injury, an IDF official said, “His helmet was destroyed. He fell on his back and suffered another blow. So he was hit hard in the head and was evacuated.” He added, “This was a necessary raid to arrest several terrorists who carried out attacks in the past. The soldier was wearing full protective gear, including a helmet, and while he was standing close to one of the homes the marble slab was thrown down at him.”

The operation, which is based on Shin Bet intelligence, is part of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Brigade’s wide scale activity to thwart attacks during the month of Ramadan.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted, “Our hearts are with the Duvdevan soldier and his family in their difficult time, with all of Israel praying for his recovery. We consider the incident to be very grave. The callous terrorist who harmed him will not know rest. Before long, we will get our hands on him—dead or alive.”

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Syrian Strikes
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state media have reported that the Dabaa air base, that houses Hezbollah fighters near Homs, was attacked overnight by jets. Syrian news sources claim that the jets were Israeli. Opposition news sites reported that 25 Iranian and Hezbollah fighters were killed in the strike. The pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al Akhbar reported on Friday morning that the attack on the military airbase was “the largest by the Israeli Air Force since the night of the missiles,” a term used in reference to the night in which Iran launched 32 rockets at Israeli targets earlier this month.

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Settlement Construction
Defense Minister Lieberman said yesterday that he plans to seek approval next week for the construction of around 3,900 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He said a regional planning board would be asked to designate 2,500 of the housing units for immediate construction, and another 1,400 to follow. The housing units will be distributed mainly between the settlements of Ariel (400), Ma’ale Adumim (460), Kiryat Arba (15), Avnei Hefetz (130), Talmon (180), Kfar Etzion (160) and Halamish/Neve Tzuf (60).

Lieberman said, “We committed to building in Judea and Samaria and we are fulfilling that commitment. We will approve 2,500 new housing units next week at the planning council for immediate construction in 2018. In the coming months we will seek approval for thousands of additional housing units. We will continue to populate and develop Judea and Samaria with actions.”

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Stop Funding
Israel called on the European Union today to halt funding to more than a dozen European and Palestinian non-governmental organizations that it says promote boycotts against Israel, claiming that the financial support violates the EU’s stated policy that it opposes boycotts against Israel.

A report published by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry said, ”The state of Israel expects the EU to act with full transparency and reveal the scope of its financial aid to organizations that have ties to terror and promote boycotts against Israel” the report said. “Israel strongly urges the EU to fully implement in practice its declared policy of rejecting boycotts against Israel, and to immediately halt funding to organizations which promote anti-Israel boycotts and de-legitimization.”

The EU had no immediate comment.

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Recognize Golan
In an interview with Reuters this week, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz called on the US to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan. He claimed that the move would be a strong message against Iranian aggression in the region. He said, “It’s time for the US to recognize the historic truth, the historic fact, and strengthen Israel.”

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War, and officially annexed the Golan in 1981. There are currently over 20,000 Jews living in towns, settlements and kibbutzim in the Golan. There are also around 20,000 Druze living in several villages near the Syrian border.

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Royal Visit
Prince William, direct heir to the British throne, will come to Israel at the end of June for the first-ever visit by a member of the British royal family. He will arrive in Amman, Jordan on June 24 and visit the historic city of Jerash the following day. On the evening of June 25 he will come to Tel Aviv and the following day will be spent in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. June 27 will be spent in Tel Aviv and Ramallah in the West Bank and June 28, the final day of the trip will be devoted entirely to Jerusalem.

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