Israel

Israel

BACKGROUND

Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948, after the British agreed to withdraw from Mandatory Palestine and turned to the United Nations to determine the future status of the land. After millennia in the diaspora, the Jewish people were finally able to return to their ancestral homeland. Born into war and surrounded by neighbors resistant to the Jewish state, Israel’s history is riddled with conflict and survival. Historically, its land served as a meeting point for cultures and civilizations that revolutionized the world as we now know it. Jerusalem, the holiest place for both Judaism and Christianity and one of the three most important places for Islam, served many times as a stepping stone for major developments. Israel’s demography includes 74% Jews, 18% Muslims, 2% Christians, in addition to other minorities (2020). Despite its complex background and small size (equivalent to the size of New Jersey), in just over 70 years, Israel has become prosperous and a global beacon for innovation and cutting-edge technologies, while remaining on a quest to balance its Jewish and democratic identity.

LATEST NEWS

  • Gantz and Netanyahu are arguing over the length of the appropriations bill for 2020, specifically whether it will be a one year or two-year bill. While the coalition agreement stipulates that the bill will cover funding for two years, PM Netanyahu is insisting that due to the pandemic and the financial crisis, a one-year bill should be used. -Ynet 

  • Gantz conditions the annexation on the collaboration and partnership with the international community, unlike PM Netanyahu and some of the members of Blue and White party. -Haaretz 

  • A rocket was launched from the Gaza strip into Israeli territory without causing casualties or damage. The IDF responded by attacking several Hamas targets in the South of the Gaza strip. -Maariv 

  • In Poland, a public channel news report accused the opposition’s contender for the presidency of placing foreign interests before the Polish interests. This was in response to his efforts in assisting to return the lost property of holocaust survivors to its owners. -Haaretz 

  • According to Lebanese reports, Israel allowed the transfer of funds from Qatar to Gaza in the amount of $50 million. The funds are intended to be used for building infrastructure and assisting families in need. -Haaretz 

  • An Israeli IDF soldier came to the rescue of a Palestinian after the latter was attacked by a group of Jewish Israelis in Hebron. The actions of the soldier were condoned by the IDF head of the joint chiefs, while strongly condemning the actions of the young group of attackers. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister Benny Gantz also commended the soldier for his actions. -Ynet 

  • The Tel Aviv District Court issued a temporary injunction against city works for the construction of a building over an old Muslim burial site in Jaffa. In the past, a soccer field was built over the site for the use of the Muslim soccer club and after that, it served  as a storage facility for the British forces. Pursuant to the construction, several arson incidents occurred against municipal buildings in the city. -Walla 

  • The IDF and the Shin Bet detected and stopped a boat smuggling weapons from the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza strip. The two smugglers were arrested and questioned. The weapons were meant to reach Hamas. -Ynet   

archive

  • Angry with the government’s plans to build a detention center over an ancient Muslim cemetery and at the Israeli Minister of Public Affairs for not allowing the footage of the shooting of 14-year-old Iyad El-Hallk by Israeli soldiers to be published, protestors took to the streets of Jaffa and Jerusalem. In both cases, the protests became violent, and protestors burnt public property and cars; in Jaffa, stones were thrown at a public bus. -Ynet

  • The EU Ambassador to Israel warns of the consequences to commerce, education, and research that could come from an Israeli annexation. -Ynet

  • Political sources estimate that annexation will take place between July and September in accordance with US President Trump’s vision. The German Ambassador to Israel has expressed Germany’s strong objection to the plan and the Palestinian Prime Minister warned that if Israel will go about its annexation plans, the Palestinians will declare statehood pursuant to the borders of 1967. Israel Hayom

  • Coronavirus cases in Israel are spiking, and as a result, the government is starting to tighten the enforcement of social distancing and mask-wearing. Since opening the economy and school system three weeks ago, the Ministry of Education has now re-closed 137 schools due to mass infections. Maariv

  • The Spanish news outlet “El-Pais” reports that  Spain has frozen several agreements with Israel, in which Spain committed to selling IT software, handcuffs, and additional equipment, for fear of usage for human rights violations. -Haaretz

  • Israel will stop using its intelligence services (Shin Bet) to trace COVID-19 infected citizens and the people that they were in contact with. The Intelligence services were used mainly to warn people who were in the proximate physical vicinity of a known infected person for over 15 minutes. The government and courts have been grappling with the balance between the effectiveness of the tool and its infringement of privacy rights. -Maariv