Israel News for May 20, 2016

Terror Averted
A 16-year-old Arab resident of the Shuafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem was arrested Thursday afternoon for planning to carry out a stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate of the Old City.

Police and Border Guard officers noticed the suspicious youth near the light rail station in Beit Hanina. The young terrorist boarded the bus in Shuafat and made his way toward Damascus Gate. Security forces boarded the bus after him, and after searching him discovered a knife. He was arrested and taken in for questioning where he admitted his plan to carry out a stabbing attack against police officers.

For further reading click here.

Coalition Bargaining
Israel Beyteinu and government officials are hard at work finalizing the terms of the agreement that will bring the Russian immigrant based party into the government. As part of the agreement party leader Avigdor Liberman will become Defense Minister and the party will also get the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and some other less major positions.

According to sources involved in the negotiations, there is no disagreement over the positions that were offered to Yisrael Beiteinu. What remains is to find the additional money to fund the line items that are part of the party’s conditions for joining the government and to draw up an agreement amenable to both sides. The main items that need funding  are the increased pensions for immigrants from the former Soviet Union and for mortgages for these immigrants that cover 90 percent of a home’s purchase price.

Yisrael Beyteinu will give the government a 67 seat majority in the Knesset, instead of the 61 seat majority the government currently holds. Sources are confident that the agreement will be finalized later today.

For further reading click here.

Ya’alon Resigns
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, deciding not to wait for the official agreement between Israel Beyteinu and the government to be finalized, announced today his resignation from his job as Defense Minister and from the Knesset. The PM offered Ya’alon the prestigious job of Foreign Minister, but Ya’alon declined.

Ya’alon wrote on Facebook, “I notified the prime minister this morning that following his conduct in the latest developments and in view of the lack of trust in him, I am resigning from the government and the Knesset and taking time out from political life.”

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby remarked,”We appreciate Mr. Ya’alon’s leadership and partnership as defense minister and we look forward to working with his successor. Our bonds of friendship are unbreakable, and commitment to the security of Israel remains absolute.”

But Ya’alon isn’t done with politics just yet. Speaking at a press conference a short time following his resignations, Ya’alon said, “I have no intention of leaving public and political life in the state, and in the future I will return to contend for the nationalist leadership of the State of Israel.”

Replacing Ya’alon in the Knesset will be the next person on the Likud party list, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the prominent US born Temple Mount activist who survived an assassination attempt in 2014.

Speaking to Army Radio on Friday morning, Glick said that “I regret the departure of Ya’alon. He is a moral man and an asset to the people of Israel and the Likud.”

Regarding his new Knesset position click remarked, “I pray to God that He give me good counsel and accompany me as an emissary for the nation of Israel, to sanctify the name of Heaven and to increase peace and light in the world and work to unify the nation of Israel.”

For further reading click here.

To Life
If you’re looking to live longer, then you should seriously consider moving to Israel. According to a report on worldwide life expectancy recently released by the World Health Organization, Israel ranks number 8 on the list.

In 2015 the average world life expectancy was 71, which is 5 years linger than it was in 2000, when the report was last compiled.

Japan has the highest overall life expectancy, at 86.8 years, while Switzerland has the highest male life expectancy of 81.3 years.

The life expectancy in Israel is 80.6 for men and 84.3 for women. That’s ahead of the US, where life expectancy is 77 years for men and 81.6 for women. Israel is also ahead of Canada and most of Europe.

The shortest life expectancy in the world is in Sierra Leone, where women on average only live to about 51 years of age, and men to about 59.

L’chaim, to life!

To view the entire list, click here.