israel weapons confiscated

Israel News for December 17, 2015

Weapons Bust
Over the past few months Israeli customs officers at the port of Ashdod have intercepted and confiscated tens of thousands of weapons bound for the West Bank. The weapons include over 50,000 combat knives, tens of thousands of electric shockers, swords, clubs, brass knuckles, airguns, slingshots, camouflage uniforms and those face masks that terrorists wear during violent demonstrations.

Customs officials claim that they intercept weapons shipments on a daily basis and that the weapons are usually hidden in all sorts of ingenious places like hollowed out furniture and books.

If these shipments make it to their destinations they can cause serious casualties to security forces and civilians. Props to the customs officers who are protecting Israel by making sure these weapons stay out of Palestinian hands.

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Gaza Fighting
An explosive device was detonated against an IDF patrol along the Gaza border near Khan Yunis yesterday. There were no injuries or damage. The IDF responded with mortar fire.
According to a military source, this was the first time since the 2014 Gaza war that explosives were used against an IDF patrol.

Considering that Hamas is trying to avoid another fight with Israel, at least for the time being, it seems as though they are losing some of their control over their border.

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New Housing
The Jerusalem building and planning board approved a plan to build 891 housing units in Gilo, a Jerusalem neighborhood located just beyond Israel’s pre-1967 borders. The plan had been put on hold during PM Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, to avoid American opposition. But it was just a temporary, diplomatically motivated measure. Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be indivisible, including those areas considered part of the West Bank by the international community. With the US election year in full swing, it’s unlikely that the US administration will make much of a fuss about this. Good timing.

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Kuwait Air Banned
If you’re trying to book a flight with an Israeli passport, cross Kuwait Airways off your list of potential carriers. The airline does not sell tickets to Israelis. Its booking system simply does not accept Israeli passport information.

The US Department of Transportation ordered the airline to “cease and desist from refusing to transport Israeli citizens between the U.S. and any third country where they are allowed to disembark,” and threatened to take action if the airline did not comply.

Kuwait Airways didn’t change its discriminatory policy. Now it has been forced to cancel its flights from New York’s JFK airport to London.

The airline previously filed suit in federal court in Washington saying its policy “isn’t discriminatory because it will sell tickets to passengers regardless of race, national origin or religion – so long as they hold a passport valid in Kuwait,” and asking to be allowed to continue to fly to the United States. So far the airline has not withdrawn its suit, and if it wins it could resume its US flights. The airline claims that its policy is not based on religion, since a Muslim with an Israeli passport will also not be allowed to fly with them.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, beware. You could be next.

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Best Place
The United Nations has published its Human Development Index (HDI) for 2015, which ranks 188 countries according to their average life expectancy, education and Gross National Product per capita. The index is meant to rank the best countries to live in.

Norway ranked first for the 13th time since 2001. Israel came in at number 18, which is an auspicious number by Jewish standards (it means life). It came in just behind Korea and Sweden, but ahead of Japan, Italy, France and Austria.

The top countries after Norway were Australia in second place, Switzerland third, Denmark fourth, the Netherlands fifth, Germany sixth, Ireland seventh, the US eighth, and Canada and New Zealand tied in ninth place. The bottom five were…oh, who cares. You’ll never end up in any of them, even on a trip.

To see the entire list click here.

Doctor’s Pay
Remember hearing how doctors in Israel don’t make any money because of the socialized medical system? Well, forget about it. According to figures released by the Ministry of Finance, 19 of the top 20 highest paid wage earners in the public sector in Israel are…drumroll…doctors.

The highest paid doc on the list made NIS 128,000 per month, which comes out to over $400,000 per year (yes, that’s in US dollars). That figure doesn’t include any private practice payments the doctor might get outside of the official hospital pay. The 18 other top docs did almost as well.The numbers might not rank with the top docs in the US, but they’re nothing to sneeze at (sorry for the pun), and for Israel, it’s pretty darn fantastic. Sure, not every doctor is making that kind of money, but the same is true for the US.

So to all the Jewish mothers reading this, your boy (or girl) can be a doctor and an Israeli and do ok. For all you single gals (and guys), you can add those interns back onto your eligible list, right behind the startup founders and venture capitalists.

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French Aliyah
For the second year in a row, France will be the biggest source of immigrants to Israel, followed by Ukraine. About 8,000 French Jews made aliyah in 2015, a thousand more than last year. About 7,000 Jews came from the Ukraine this year. Other notable sources of new Israelis were Russia with 6,300 and the US with 2,900.

Minister of Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin estimated that the total number of immigrants moving to Israel in 2015 would be 30,000 – up from 27,000 the previous year.

“And the children will return to their borders, and there is hope for the future. “ — Jeremiah 31:16

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