Israel has reinstated the indoor mask wearing requirement following several Covid outbreaks, primarily among unvaccinated teens. The outbreaks are thought to be connected to Israelis returning home from abroad who may have brought in the Indians Delta variant of the virus. The Health Ministry is urging Israelis returning from abroad to self-isolate.
Israel is expanding Gaza’s fishing zone and allowing the import of raw materials for essential industries. There has been relative calm on the Gaza border recently.
In a speech earlier this week, PA President Abbas welcomed new PM Bennett and urged him to try and reach solutions on long-lasting issues between Palestinians and Israelis.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will hold his first meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Rome on Sunday.
A new poll conducted in the US by the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that among Democrats, 51% say the U.S. is not supportive enough of the Palestinians. The sentiment jumps to 62% among Democrats who describe themselves as liberal. On the other hand, 49% of Republicans say the U.S. is not supportive enough of the Israelis, a number that rises to 61% among those who say they’re conservative.
A letter from 73 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including a number in leadership positions, is urging President Joe Biden to reverse what they call the Trump administration’s “abandonment of longstanding, bipartisan United States policy” on Israeli-Palestinian relations. The letter asks Biden to “Make clear that the United States considers settlements to be inconsistent with international law by reissuing relevant State Department and U.S. customs guidance to that effect,” and for all “relevant official U.S. documents and communications” to “once again consistently refer to the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as occupied.” To read more, click here.
Honduras opened its embassy in Jerusalem yesterday. It is the fourth country to do so, following the US, Guatemala and Kosovo. To mark the occasion, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and PM Naftali Bennett signed several bilateral cooperation agreements in Jerusalem.
The Bank of Israel has adopted Ethereum blockchain technology for an internal pilot project to examine the digital shekel. To implement the project the Bank of Israel IT department team has issued a token based on the blockchain technology of Ethereum, which represents digital shekels, and has set up digital wallets into which team members of the venture can transfer “imaginary digital shekels” to each other within the Bank of Israel. Ethereum is the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
The Polish parliament has advanced a bill that would limit the ability of claimants to seek restitution for property they owned during the Holocaust. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, an outspoken critic of Poland, condemned the bill, tweeting, “This is a direct and painful attack on the rights of Holocaust survivor and their descendants. This is not the first time that the Poles are trying to turn a blind eye to what was done in Poland during the Holocaust.” Poland is the only member of the EU to deny any restitution to Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
Tens of thousands of people participated in the Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv today.