Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-26-2023

News Update

As you’ve probably already heard, on Monday the Knesset passed the first bill in the Judicial Reform initiative, canceling the reasonableness clause that gave the High Court the ability to override legislation it deemed unreasonable. The vote was 64-0, as the opposition boycotted the vote. Half the country (as well as Israel’s enemies) is smiling and the other half crying. Most of the major papers published black front pages. Security for government ministers has been increased. Protests continue.

Several appeals against the bill have been submitted to the High Court, which will now have to decide whether to attempt to override the bill (that restricts its power to override bills) or let it stand. For more, click here.

The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (UTJ) Party proposed a bill yesterday that would treat Torah study the same as military service. The proposed legislation states that since the study of the Torah is of vital importance to the State of Israel, those who undertake it for an extensive period of time would be considered as having served the nation. UTJ leaders say that the proposed bill is in line with promises given them by PM Netanyahu as part of their coalition agreement. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, “Torah study is an important facet that preserves us as a people and I hold it in high regard. It is important to remember- there is no place to equate military service with Torah study.” Former IDF chief of staff and current MK Gadi Eizenkot said that the proposed legislation would be a fatal blow to the IDF’s role as the people’s army and must be rejected.

Defense officials are saying that terrorists are rebuilding their infrastructure in Jenin and that the IDF will probably have to go back into Jenin again.

Security forces arrested 32 suspected terrorists in a massive overnight raid across the West Bank.

Israel and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement yesterday in Jerusalem. In 2022 Israel exported goods worth $175 million to Vietnam, up from $158.9 million in 2021, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports. Israel imported goods worth $278 million from Vietnam in 2022, down from $337.5 million in 2021. It is hoped that the free trade agreement will boost these figures. Israel’s exports to Vietnam include chemicals, machinery, medical and optical equipment, rubber, and plastics, while imports from Vietnam include machinery, fresh agricultural produce, and food products. For more, click here.