Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-3-2021

News Update

Yesterday, terrorists shot and wounded three Israelis at a bus stop at the Tapuach Junction in the West Bank. The terrorists were in a moving vehicle with Palestinian license plates and drove off after the attack. Soldiers at the scene managed to fire at the vehicle. Security forces immediately launched a manhunt for the attackers. The IDF is reinforcing the troops stationed near the junction.

Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where the wounded were taken after the attack, said the condition of Yehuda Guetta, 19, remains critical, while the condition Bania Peretz, 19, is described as serious. The third person who was wounded in the drive-by shooting, 19-year-old Amichai Hala, has been released from the hospital.

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman announced that he would undertake a special investigation of Friday’s Mount Meron disaster in which 45 people were killed and more than 150 were injured. He said that his report would focus on three main issues including the conduct and actions of the political decision-makers, the police and the work of rescuers. He would also examine how to best manage future events at holy sites. The Police Investigations Department is already investigating the incident.

All of the people killed in the Meron disaster have been identified and laid to rest. For a full list of the victims, click here.

PM Netanyahu’s mandate to form a new government will expire tomorrow. Sources say that Netanyahu is planning to prevent the President from giving the mandate to Yair Lapid by getting the entire right-wing block to recommend an “out of field” candidate, apparently Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, to form a government. This would leave Lapid with only 45 recommendations as opposed to Steinitz’s presumed 52, making it difficult for the president to give the mandate to Lapid. If the mandate is then passed to the Knesset, the Arrangements Committee, which makes recommendations as to who should chair the government committees, will remain in the hands of the Likud.

The government appointed 5 ministers to fill posts that have been vacant for months. Minister Yoav Galant will be the Minister of Higher Education in addition to his role at as Minister of Education, Minister Michael Biton will be Minister of Strategic Affairs in addition to his position as Minister of Social Affairs in the Defense Ministry, Minister Hili Trooper will add the portfolio of Minister of Science and Technology to his role as Minister of Culture and MK EItan Ginzburg from the Blue & White party will be the Minister of Communications.

Intel Corp said yesterday that it will invest another $600 million in Israel to expand its research and development (R&D) and confirmed it was spending $10 billion on a new chip plant. Intel will invest $400 million to turn its Mobileye unit, headquartered in Jerusalem, into an R&D campus for developing self-driving car technologies. Another $200 million will be invested in building an R&D center, called IDC12, in Haifa. Intel Israel’s exports grew to a record $8 billion in 2020 from $6.6 billion in 2019, accounting for 14% of total high-tech exports and 2% of Israel’s GDP. Intel is the largest employer of Israel’s high tech industry with nearly 14,000 workers.