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Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-29-2022

News Update

IDF troops returning from a raid in Jenin were attacked with explosive devices. Troops fired at the attackers, killing one Palestinian Islamic Jihad member. Thirteen terror suspects were arrested in the raid. No troops were injured.

The bill dissolving the Knesset passed its first reading today. The current government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is set to end at midnight tonight, and Yair Lapid will take over an interim government as Prime Minister. Lapid will retain his foreign minister title while serving as Israel’s 14th premier.

Israel has declined a Hamas offer to trade Israeli citizen Hisham al-Sayed, who was shown in a video lying in a bed with an oxygen mask on his face, for an undisclosed number of sick Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons. Al-Sayed crossed into Gaza on his own volition in 2015. His family claimed he was mentally ill. Israel is demanding that any prisoner exchange include Avera Mengsitu, who has been held in Gaza since 2014, as well as the bodies of soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in Operation Protective Edge.

U.S. Ambassador Tom Nides appealed to the Likud party to allow legislation to pass in the Knesset before it is dissolved, in order not to cause unnecessary delay in Israel’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program. The Likud had said that they would allow legislation to proceed only if the coalition would agree to hold elections on October 25th and not one week later. Israelis currently need a visa to visit the US. For more, click here.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel again criticized Israel for not accepting more refugees. For more, click here.

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the founder of volunteer paramedic organization ZAKA, has died at the age of 62. Meshi-Zahav was hospitalized last year after attempting suicide as accusers stepped forward alleging years of sexual abuse after he was awarded the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-27-2022

News Update

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey and Israel have begun work restoring their mutual diplomatic representation to ambassador level. In a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said they were in close contact regarding threats to Israeli citizens in Turkey and that Turkey would not allow terrorist attacks on its territory. Turkish authorities arrested 8 people, last week, suspected of working for an Iranian intelligence cell that planned to assassinate Israeli tourists in Istanbul.

EU Ambassador to Israel, Dimiter Tzanchev, says Israel is well positioned to replace Russia as a supplier of natural gas to Europe. For more, click here.

Ukraine President Zelensky criticized Israel for not providing Ukraine with more support and for not joining in the economic boycott against Russia. Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine acknowledged Ukraine’s difficult position but said that Israel is doing everything it can to help. Meanwhile, Israel reopened its embassy in Kyiv this week.

Enjoy a classic shabbos song, click here.

And a little pre-shabbos medley, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-22-2022

News Update

The Knesset today voted to dissolve, in a preliminary reading of a bill expected to be finalized next week. Once the bill is passed, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will take over as Prime Minister of the interim government from Naftali Bennett, as per their coalition agreement, until new elections are held or unless the Likud can manage to form a new government before the Knesset takes a final vote to dissolve. The Likud is reportedly in negotiations with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar to convince them to join a Netanyahu led government.

Prime Minister Bennett said that he will not support a proposed bill to block opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu from running in the next elections. The bill has very little hope of passing and, even if it does, could be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Israel will begin bringing in workers from Morocco to work in construction and nursing, based on an agreement signed by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat today. During her meeting with the foreign minister, Shaked publicly gave, for the first time, Israel’s support for Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara.

The Defense Ministry’s Department of Engineering and Construction and the IDF Central Command on Tuesday began the construction of a 45 kilometer-long security barrier in the Northern Samaria area. The security barrier will be about 45 kilometers long and 9 meters tall, beginning in Northern Samaria and ending in the Bat Hefer area. The barrier will replace the security fence that was built about 20 years ago.

The IDF has been training for urban warfare in a mock Palestinian village, with 500 structures, at an undisclosed army base. To read more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-20-2022

News Update

Russia is reportedly preparing to submit a proposal in the UN Security Council to condemn Israel for an alleged attack on Damascus International Airport last week. The attack targeted Iranian and Hezbollah personnel and weapons, and cause the airport to be out of service for several days. The draft proposal blames Israel for undermining regional stability and violating international law. Even though the proposal is unlikely to pass, the move indicates trouble in the relationship between Russia and Israel and could prevent Israel from carrying out additional strikes against targets in Syria. [I think the irony of Russia condemning Israel while it wreaks massive destruction in its unprovoked war against Ukraine is clear enough.] For more, click here.

The IDF arrested 13 suspected terrorists in overnight raids. The IDF also stopped 2 armed terrorists who were attempting to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza.

A group of Palestinians attempting to damage the security fence near the city of Qalqilya were spotted by troops who opened fire on them. One Palestinian was killed.

An Iranian cyberattack on Sunday caused rocket alert sirens to go off in Jerusalem and in Eilat. No damage was caused by the hack.

A Likud sponsored bill to dissolve the Knesset will be brought before the Knesset for a vote on Wednesday, even though Likud still does not have a majority to form a new government. Likud is negotiating with Yamina MK Nir Orbach, who last week announced that he could no longer support the current government. If Likud does not manage to muster enough votes, they will most likely withdraw the bill before the Wednesday vote.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid plans to visit Turkey this week.

It turns out that the pilot of an Iranian cargo plane seized in Argentina last month was General Gholamreza Qasemi, former chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force. The cargo plane was being used to transport Iranian weapons to Hezbollah in Syria.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Tel Aviv has launched a social media campaign accusing Israel of denying medical treatment to Ukrainian soldiers. [Apparently, the field hospital Israel set up and runs in the western Ukraine doesn’t count.] For more, click here.

The government approved a program to document and preserve the history and heritage of Jewish communities in the Muslim world. The proposal, sponsored by Social Equity Minister Meirav Cohen and Culture Minister Hili Tropper, would allocate NIS 6.35 million ($1.84 million) for “the national effort to preserve the story and heritage of Jewish communities from Iran and Arab countries, which are a cornerstone in the history of the revival of the Jewish people in its homeland, while giving real expression to the diversity of Israeli society, strengthening the sense of belonging of members and descendants of these communities, and as part of promoting social cohesion in Israel.”

The Health Ministry reported over 10,000 new Covid cases. The number of seriously ill patients also increased to 168, double last week’s number. Is Covid back, or did it never really leave?

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-15-2022

News Update

IDF forces on a raid in Jenin this morning came under attack. The troops responded, killing 3 attackers and wounding 8. No troops were injured.

Russia’s foreign ministry summoned Israel’s Ambassador to Russia Alexander Ben Zvi this week, regarding a missile strike against the Damascus International Airport that was attributed to Israel. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov expressed Moscow’s deep concern regarding the attack, which the Russians said damaged the airport’s runway, navigation systems, buildings, and caused damage to international air traffic. Bogdanov told Ben-Zvi that the explanations Jerusalem provided so far did not satisfy the Kremlin and that Moscow would not allow Syria to become a “battlefield” for other countries as it helps in fighting terrorism across the region.

The Damascus International Airport has two runways, one of which serves the military. Both runways were damaged. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Syrian opposition group based in the United Kingdom, reported that the damaged building was a terminal used by senior military personnel from Iran and Hezbollah traveling to Syria. According to a Wall Street Journal report, “many of Israel’s missions have been reviewed for approval by senior officials at U.S. Central Command and the Pentagon.”

Al Jazeera has displayed the bullet that allegedly killed one of its reporters in the West Bank last month. The bullet is marked in green, which Al Jazeera says indicates that it is IDF issued. However, Palestinian gunmen use the same bullets, many of which were stolen from IDF bases. The Palestinians have denied Israel the opportunity to take part in the investigation of the incident or to analyze the evidence.

Ukraine has asked Israel for a $500 million loan. Israel has yet to respond.

The IDF has appointed the first female to command an IDF combat brigade.  Colonel Reut Retig-Weis will take command of an artillery brigade.

The Jewish Agency has selected retired IDF general Doron Almog as its next chairman.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-15-2022

News Update

Security forces arrested six terror suspects in overnight raids in the West Bank.

Egypt, Israel, and the European Union signed a deal to increase liquified natural gas sales to EU countries. Israel will send more gas via Egypt, which has facilities to liquify it for export via sea.

Israel issued an additional 20,000 work permits to Palestinians wishing to work in Israel. That brings the total number of work permits to 120,000. According to an Israeli security official, “The more Palestinians with permits there are, the less chances of terror attacks.” For more, click here.

The White House announced that US President Biden will visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority on July 13th thru the 16th. PM Bennett said that Biden’s visit will help Israel strengthen its regional ties and take its alliance with Washington to new heights.

Despite urgent warnings and calls to leave Turkey immediately, Israelis living there don’t seem worried and more tourists from Israel continue to come there for holidays. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-13-2022

News Update

Security forces arrested 12 terror suspects in raids in several Palestinian towns and villages across the West Bank last night. Troops were fired at in some of the raids. No troops were injured.

Hundreds of police and Border Police officers conducted nationwide raids and searches as part of a year long covert operation to stop illegal gun sales. Forces have thus far arrested over 30 suspects, including organized crime figures in Jaffa, Lod, Ramla, Haifa, Kafr Qasim, Barta’a, and Sajur. In a ceremony at Tel Aviv District Police headquarters, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai commended the forces for their impressive work. He said, “After over a year of supreme police efforts we can say clearly – crime organizations in the Arab community took a hit they haven’t experienced in years, and it will take them years to recover, if at all. We declared a war on the illegal weapon trend. We declared a war on the shooting trend. We declared a war on the flow of undeclared capital. We declared a war on the criminals who hurt Israeli civilians. In this war I can promise you all – we will win.”

Israeli and Turkish intelligence services recently foiled an Iranian plot to attack Israeli targets on Turkish soil. To read more, click here.

On Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hosted a US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, ahead of an expected visit of President Joe Biden next month. Abbas asked the US to reopen the US consulate in east Jerusalem and the PLO office in Washington. He also requested that the US remove the PLO from its list of terrorist entities.

Israel’s cabinet, yesterday, unanimously approved joining the European Union’s Creative Europe program, which offers creators financial assistance for their endeavors, despite the fact that the program does not extend to Israelis living in settlements in Judea and Samaria, in east Jerusalem and in the Golan. Creative Europe is one of the EU’s flagship programs, and Israel’s entry is a significant step forward in promoting cooperation with the continent, opening up new opportunities for Israeli artists and creators who will receive support to promote their work at the local and international level.

The Defense Ministry announced it would begin testing a new robotic unmanned combat vehicle it is developing with several Israeli arms firms. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-10-2022

News Update

Syrian state media reported that Israel launched a missile strike on targets south of Damascus early today. It reported that Syrian air defenses intercepted the missiles and downed most of them, but the attack caused one civilian injury and some material damage. Another report stated that an Israeli strike damaged a runway at the Damascus International Airport, causing all flights today to be halted.

On Thursday, an IDF force raided a local business in the Palestinian town of Halhul, north of Hebron, that was suspected of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to terrorist activities. A Palestinian mob attacked the troops with rocks and Molotov cocktails. The troops responded, and one of the attackers was killed. No troops were injured.

PM Bennett arrived in the UAE on Thursday for talks with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other senior officials.

The Biden administration has ordered the State Department to separate the Palestinian affairs office from the US embassy in Jerusalem. That means that the new Palestinian office will bypass the US Ambassador and deal directly with the State Department. The move comes ahead of a planned Biden visit to Israel and falls short of the US reopening a consulate to deal with Palestinian affairs in east Jerusalem. For more, click here.

Liberia announced that it will open an official office in Jerusalem, paving the way to opening an embassy there.

Israel appointed its first ambassador to Bhutan yesterday. The two nations established diplomatic ties in December of 2020.

Israel’s High Court of Justice has ruled that the Ateret Cohanim organization legally purchased an East Jerusalem property from the Greek Orthodox Church, ending a nearly two-decade battle over the Old City property. For more, click here.

Over 80,000 people participated in Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride parade today.

In the 2022 rankings of the world’s most expensive cities, Tel Aviv rose from 6th to 5th place and Jerusalem from 18th to 15th.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-8-2022

News Update

Security forces are in pursuit of a Palestinian who grabbed an M-16 from a soldier near Hebron today. The man was stopped by police at a road block and after taking the weapon, escaped into the city of Hebron. The officer was not wounded in the incident and police believe the motive was not terrorism.

An IDF drone crashed in northern Gaza late on Tuesday. According to the IDF spokesperson, the reason for the crash was being investigated and that there was no fear of information being leaked.

Russian and Syrian military aircraft conducted a joint drill over Syria yesterday. The Russian Defense Ministry said two Russian SU-35 fighter jets and six Syrian MiG-23 and MiG-29 aircraft simulated facing “hostile” warplanes and drones. Syrian pilots dealt with them with cover and support from the Russian warplanes.

PM Bennett told the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee that Israel has changed its strategy in dealing with Iran. He said, “Israel is operating against the many tentacles of Iranian terror, not only as it has done in past decades. The days of Iran having immunity when it strikes against Israel and spreads its terrorism via proxies, are gone. We are operating everywhere and all the time, and will continue to do so.” He also made clear that Israel would do whatever it felt necessary to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Syrian state media quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli jets fired several missiles while flying over Syrian airspace. It added that air defense systems were activated in the capital against “hostile targets” and most of the Israeli missiles were shot down.

U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein will visit Lebanon early next week to mediate a dispute over an oilfield off the coast of Haifa that is currently being developed by Israel but that Lebanon claims is within its maritime border.

On Monday, the government coalition failed to garner enough votes to pass the extension to a bill that would extend Israeli law to Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria. The government will apply pressure on the members who voted against it to resign from the Knesset. For more, click here.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-3-2022

News Update

IDF troops, yesterday, demolished the home of the terrorist who murdered 3 Israelis and 2 Ukrainians in Bnei Brak last March. While the troops were carrying out the demolition, Palestinians opened fire on them. The troops returned fire and killed one of the attackers. Two other Palestinians were killed when Palestinians attacked troops in a refugee camp south of Bethlehem and near Ramallah yesterday. No IDF casualties were reported.

Last night, IDF troops arrested three Palestinians who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from southern Gaza while carrying two grenades and a knife.

Prime Minister Bennett met today with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi. Bennett urged the international community to stop Iran’s nuclear development and said that Israel would use force against Iran if left with no other option.

Justice Minister and New Hope party leader Gideon Saar said today that he would not join Likud to form a new government. He had reportedly been in discussions to join Likud in a Netanyahu lead government.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with India’s Prime Minister, Defense Minister and other high ranking officials in India yesterday. His visit marked 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The IDF concluded a one month long drill in Cyprus, in which thousands of troops participated. The drill simulated the IDF’s ability to operate deep inside enemy territory such as Lebanon and combine massive forces such as infantry, tanks, engineering forces and other elite units to halt rocket fire from Hezbollah. For more, click here.

Between January and May 2022, 6,900 electric cars were delivered in Israel, representing 5.2% of all car sales, compared with just 1.2% over the same period last year. Israeli car industry sources say there is a backlog of over 12,000 orders for electric cars and by the end of the year electric vehicles should account for more than 8% of new car sales, provided the relevant importers succeed in receiving consignments and delivering them to customers.