Israel News for June 2, 2016

Peace Summit
The long awaited French sponsored peace summit kicked off in Paris today with representatives from 30 countries, the UN and the Arab League. Of course neither Israel nor the Palestinians were invited. Makes sense, right?

Meanwhile the PM is heading to Moscow on Monday to meet with Russian President Putin, in commemoration of 25 years since the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The PM has also been reaching out to China, India and Japan.

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Unity Back
Sources in the government have revealed that negotiations to bring the Zionist Union party into the coalition have begun again. The main road block to the party’s entrance is co-party leader Tzipi Livni, the former foreign and justice minister. Sources close to the Prime Minister are working on convincing Livini to change her position. Party leader Isaac Herzog has previously indicting his willingness to join the coalition under certain conditions.

If the negotiations succeed, the main loser will likely be the Bayit Yehudi party. Netanyahu has consistently been at odds with party leader Naftali Bennett, and the party’s three cabinet seats could be needed as bargaining chips to be given to the Zionist Union. Bennet has indicated that he might pull out of the government if the Zionist Union is allowed to join.

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Weapons Theft
A bag full of sophisticated hitech equipment was stolen from an IDF reserve unit training in the western Negev. The thief pulled up in an All Terrain Vehicle while the soldiers were unloading their equipment and waited until they had their backs turned before swiping the bag and taking off, in broad daylight. The soldiers gave chase but could not catch the thief. IDF regulations prohibit soldiers from implementing standard rules of engagement against thieves.

Apparently, thefts like this happen on a daily basis in the Negev. The weapons are usually smuggled into Egypt. Neither the IDF nor the police has figured out an effective way to deal with the thefts.

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Gay Pride Parade
The annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade is making its way through the streets of the city today. There are an estimated 50,000 people participating in the march and around 200,000 expected to take part in parade related events. The parade will culminate in a huge beach party.

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Celebrate Israel
The annual Celebrate Israel Parade will be marching down Fifth Avenue in NYC this Sunday. The parade will feature over 30,000 marchers and hundreds of thousands of spectators. There will also be an Israel related concert in Central Park after the parade. Show your support by attending.

For more information about the parade click here.

This Sunday is also Yom Yerushalayim, celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. We’ve got a lot to celebrate and be thankful for!