Israel News for December 7, 2015

Terror Attack
Last night, a 21 year old Palestinian from the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem rammed his car into two young Israelis in the Romema neighborhood of Jerusalem, lightly wounding them. He then got out of his vehicle with a knife and stabbed a volunteer police officer. Then he went looking for more victims. He saw an Israeli soldier near a bus and charged at him. The soldier managed to draw his sidearm and shoot and kill the terrorist.

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IAF Strikes Gaza
Last night the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck Hamas targets in northern Gaza in response to a shooting attack against an IDF vehicle that was traveling along the Israeli side of the border. No soldiers were injured in the shooting.

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PM’s First Light
PM Benjamin Netanyahu lit the first Hanukkah light in a moving ceremony at the Kotel with members of the Border Police. As part of his remarks the PM said,“Israel is a candle in the darkness. Around us is a great darkness and here in Jerusalem, in the State of Israel, we are lifting the banner of the independence and honor of man, for the right of the Jewish People to live free in its land and in its city, the same city that the Maccabees liberated.”

“This battle has continued into our generation. In every generation they have risen up to destroy us and in every generation the Holy One, Blessed be He, has saved us from them, on condition that we hold the banner and candle and also the sword of Israel. And here, we are doing just that. First of all, to defend ourselves, but I say we are defending all of humanity, as well as the culture of all humanity, against the unbridled brutality that the world is today beginning to understand.”

“Here we are, standing near the Holy of Holies, not far from there. We can overcome any obstacle and any challenge and I believe that this is a symbol today, especially at this time, of the restoration of Israel and of the Glory of Israel.”

“With G-d’s help, very many around the world understand this more and more with the passing of time. I want to say the blessing over the first candle of Hanukkah. I want to wish the entire People of Israel a Happy Hanukkah.”

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Obama’s First Light
US President Obama released a Hanukkah greeting last night.

“Tonight, Jews in America, Israel, and around the world come together to light the first candle of the Festival of Lights. At its heart, Hanukkah is about the struggle for justice in the face of overwhelming obstacles.”

“It’s a chance to reflect on the triumph of liberty over tyranny, the rejection of persecution, and on the miracles that can happen even in our darkest hours. It renews our commitment as Americans – as people who live by faith and conscience – to lead the way and act as unyielding advocates for the fundamental dignity of every human being.”

“During these eight days, let us be inspired by the light that can overcome darkness. As we recall the Maccabees’ struggle to free a people from oppression, let us rededicate ourselves to being the engine of the miracles we seek.”

“May the lights of the menorah brighten your home and warm your heart, and from my family to yours, Chag Sameach.”

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Compensation Award
The International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration has ruled that Egypt must pay Israel around $1.8 billion as compensation for halting gas supplies.

Egypt stopped selling natural gas to Israel in 2012 after months of attacks on a pipeline by militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The Israel Electric Company sued the Egyptian gas providers for $4 billion in damages, claiming that it was forced to buy more expensive fuel to generate its electricity.

There’s one problem with the award. Israel is hoping to export gas to Egypt from its newly discovered gas reserves. Egypt is saying now that it won’t buy the gas unless Israel waives the arbitration award. So, Israel might have to give up the $1.8 billion to make a lot more money in the future.

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Sarid Memorial
Former cabinet minister and Knesset member Yossi Sarid, who died on Friday, was laid to rest yesterday at Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.

Sarid, who died at his home in Tel Aviv of cardiac arrest at the age of 75, was a prominent figure on the Israeli left. He was a Knesset member for more than three decades, and served as education minister and environment minister, as well as a leader of the peace movement and a prominent opponent of Israeli rule over the West Bank.

The PM said, “Although we differed on a large number of subjects, I admired his loyalty to his path, his broad knowledge and the precise Hebrew of his mouth and pen. He will also be remembered as an outstanding parliamentarian, a longstanding member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and as an education minister who sought to advance the educational system in Israel.”

Sarid is survived by his wife Dorit, their three children, Yishai, Noa, and Nadav, and his grandchildren.

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Pay Raise
The cabinet yesterday unanimously approved a proposal by the Minister of Finance to raise the salary for soldiers doing compulsory service by 50%.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said that the increase would become effective in December, and that there would be further increases in the future.

The monthly pay for combat soldiers will rise from NIS 1,077 to NIS 1,616, the monthly pay for a soldIers in combat support positions will rise from NIS 784 to NIS 1,176, and the monthly pay for soldiers in other positions will rise from NIS 540 to NIS 810.

Opening the cabinet meeting, PM Netanyahu said, “There is no better opportunity than now, on the eve of Hanukkah, to increase the pay for soldiers doing compulsory service. The bottom line is that our lives depend on the shield provided by IDF soldiers.”

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