Israel News for July 29, 2016

Dermer Praises Clinton
Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the US, credited Hillary Clinton with the leading role in achieving a cease-fire in Israel’s 2012 conflict with Hamas.

Clinton flew to the region and conducted shuttle diplomacy between Egypt and Israel to end hostilities between Israel and Hamas through indirect negotiations. Dermer, speaking at an event hosted by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, said that because of the quick cease-fire, the eight-day conflict was the only one of Israel’s three rounds of fighting with Hamas to not include an Israeli ground operation in Gaza.

He said, “She came in and had to get it right, and had, I think, basically one shot. A lot of lives were saved.”

Dermer said the talks defined “how the U.S. and Israel work together as allies.”

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Gaza Sewage
A bipartisan group of US Congressman and Senators have sent a letter to Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman and Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz demanding a long-term solution for the supply of electricity to the water purification facility in the Gaza Strip. The group claims that an absence of an immediate solution will have severe health and environmental consequences on both sides of the border.

The water purification plant, built in northern Gaza with $80 million of World Bank money, is barely functioning due to a lack of electricity, which is supplied by Israel. As a result, sewage in Gaza is flowing into the Mediterranean Sea. Water currents bring the sewage northeast to Israel, damaging the aquifers on both sides of the border.

According to EcoPeace Friends of the Earth Middle East Israel director Adv. Gidon Bromberg, which has been trying for several years to eliminate the hazards of sewage in the region, “The hazards of the sewage flowing from the Gaza Strip are an existing fact that cannot be ignored. Sewage constitutes a health hazard not only in the Gaza Strip, but also for nearly a million Israelis. It is a ticking bomb, and it is only a matter of time before it leads to the closure of beaches, destruction of groundwater, and the outbreak of disease on both sides of the border.”

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Egyptian Independence
PM Netanyahu and President Rivlin participated in the Egyptian Independence Day celebrations at the residence of the Egyptian ambassador to Israel in Hertzlia last night. The PM praised the Egyptian President’s efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Israeli Egyptian peace treaty has held up for nearly 40 years.

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Highway Security
Highway 443, which connects Modiin to Jerusalem and is one of only two major highways that connect the capital to central Israel, has been the scene of dozens of terrorist attacks in the recent wave of terror. The IDF is hoping to prevent more attacks by installing over 255 day and night vision cameras along the ten mile stretch of road. They’ll also be adding two additional surveillance balloons along the route, supplementing the one already in use. There are also currently between 50 and 70 soldiers who patrol the highway.

A significant portion of the 443 passes through the West Bank. The road is built in hilly terrain and there are Arab villages on both sides of it. There is no security fence along most of the highway, giving terrorists many opportunities to carry out attacks on the thousands of Israeli vehicles that use the road every day.

Despite the attacks along the highway in recent months, the road is considered to be safe.

Let’s hope that the new cameras help the IDF stop terrorists before they have a chance to attack.

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Judge Diversity
In a sign of Israel’s increasing diversity in public office, ten out of the 16 new district judges and court registrars sworn in yesterday were women and four were Arabs. Both Israel’s Justice Minister and Supreme Court President are also women.

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Joint Exercise
The Israeli Navy and the US Marines conducted a joint training exercise. To watch a video of the exercise click here.