Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-24-2019

Syria Strike
Syrian state television said on Wednesday that Israel attacked a strategic area in southern Syria overlooking the Golan Heights, where Western intelligence sources previously said Iranian-backed militias are known to be based. The London based opposition  Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that there were fatalities.

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Hamas Offer
Hamas terror group said yesterday that there’s a “real chance” to negotiate a return of Israeli MIAs and POWs but the window of opportunity “could soon be closed.” The statement came just hours after a state ceremony was held in Jerusalem commemorating Israeli troops fallen in the 2014 Gaza war known as Operation Protective Edge.

The bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during Protective Edge, are thought to still be held by Hamas. In addition, Hamas claims to have captured, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two mentally ill Israelis who voluntarily crossed into Gaza several years ago.

Speaking at the commemoration ceremony PM Netanyahu said, “We are committed to bringing Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, as well as Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, back home. I cannot go into detail here about everything that we are doing but we are doing very much.”

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Anti BDS
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 398 to 17 to approve a non-binding resolution that opposes BDS, the boycott movement against Israel.

Introduced by a bipartisan group of members, the resolution supports a two-state solution, argues the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is an effort to delegitimize Israel and urges “Israelis and Palestinians to return to direct negotiations as the only way to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

It also recognizes the right of an American citizen to “protest or criticize the policies of the United States or foreign governments.” Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Republican Reps. Lee Zeldin of New York and Ann Wagner of Missouri were initial co-sponsors of the resolution.

Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan tweeted earlier this month that the resolution is “unconstitutional” and aims to “silence” opposition to Israel’s policies. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Tlaib introduced their own resolution in response to the anti-BDS resolution, affirming that Americans have “the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

The GOP-controlled Senate passed anti-BDS legislation earlier this year that would go farther than the House’s anti-BDS resolution by making it easier for states to fight against the BDS movement. Many Senate Democrats opposed the anti-BDS language, saying it violated First Amendment rights of Americans who want to boycott Israel. That measure hasn’t been taken up by the House.

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Alleged Hit
The Iranian Tasnim News Agency published a report Wednesday quoting unnamed official sources suspecting that Israel and the United States had assassinated Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency who died last week. Amano was 72 and died of “unknown causes”.

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Bye Fax
Israel’s Fax Law will go into effect on Friday, requiring government ministries and public bodies such as hospitals, the National Insurance Institute, health funds, and others, to allow the public to contact them via email instead of via fax. [Who still uses fax??]

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Yeshiva Visit
Billionaire and staunch Israel supporter Sheldon Adelson visited the famous Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak along with his wife Miriam yesterday. He toured the yeshivah, which is one of the largest and most prominent in Israel, on his electric chair/scooter and spoke with the Rabbi Kahaneman, the Yeshiva head. He was reportedly very moved by his visit.

To view video and images of the visit, click here.