News From Israel

No. 81, August 22, 2018

Inside Israel

Alternative marriage initiative kicks off. The Hashgacha Pratit (Hebrew for ‘Private Supervision’) group is launching a new initiative that seeks to marry Israelis outside the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate. The campaign is aimed primarily at immigrants from the former Soviet Union whose Judaism is often held in doubt, leading to their inability to marry inside Israel.

Gaza border. On August 8 and 9 some 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel. 19 people were treated for injuries resulting from rocket attacks. Following the barrages throughout the night, the IAF struck over 100 terror targets in Gaza. Later in the week Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire under Egyptian mediation. After several days of rare calm along Israel – Gaza border, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza and extended the Strip’s permitted fishing zone. However, last weekend thousands of Palestinian Arabs again rioted along the security fence with Gaza, hurling several firebombs and launching flaming kites, which started several fires on the Israeli side.

Israeli-Palestinian support for 2-states at 20 years low, poll says. Support for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the lowest point in two decades, according to new data released by a private survey. Only 49% of Israelis and 43% of Palestinians support the idea. In 2010, 71% of Israelis believed in a two-state resolution and 57% of Palestinians.

Record number of women volunteer for combat units. The number has more thandoubled in three years. The record number comes as the IDF continues to open roles in the military to women and as motivation for them to join combat units continues to increase.

Israelis emigrating? Lowest number in nearly three decades. The rate of Israelis moving abroad is at a 28-year low, a counterintuitive statistic considering the amount of complaining and catastrophizing that takes place around Shabbat dinner tables and in the media. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there were between 560,000 to 596,000 Israelis living abroad in 2016, not including children of Israelis born overseas.


Iran gives $100 Million a year to Hamas and Islamic JihadIran transfers $70 million a year to Hamas, while Islamic Jihad gets $30 million. In addition, Iran has been transferring $1 billion annually to Hezbollah.

Israel’s exports to Gulf states worth almost $1 billion, study suggests. Israel’s exports to Gulf Arab states were worth some one billion dollars in 2016, a new analysis of trade data suggests, despite their refusal to recognize Israel or have diplomatic relations with it. Israel’s publicly available foreign trade data does not show any direct trade in recent years, but the analysis of goods flows between third countries suggest the true amount is “close to” USD$1 billion.

US warns no one will be ‘fully pleased’ by Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The Trump administration said that neither Israelis nor Palestinian would be “fully pleased” by its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, whose contents are one of the most guarded secrets in Washington. Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, tweeted a statement from multiple officials that said the only way to achieve a final-status accord was for both parties to accept painful compromises.

Culture and Lifestyle

Israeli hospitals see record-breaking baby boom. Several hospitals in Israel have reported record-breaking numbers of deliveries of newborns. The uptick is connected to rising fertility rates and the fact that there is a significantly higher number of births during the summer months compared to winter, according to the report. August is typically the month with the most births.

‘Golan to Eilat’ bike trail to be completed by 2021. Cyclists will soon be able to bike all the way from Mount Hermon in the north to Eilat in the south, completing the 1,200 kilometer (750 mi) long Israel Trail for bikes. Cycling has boomed in popularity in Israel in recent years, reaching a peak earlier this year when the world-famous Giro d’Italia, one of cycling’s three grand tours, kicked off the 2018 tour in Jerusalem.

9 perfect places to park your picnic basket in Israel. Whenever you visit this naturally beautiful country, Israelis will try to coax you out of your air-conditioned room and into the sunshine, no matter how hot it is, to enjoy “the nature,” as they call it. We tell you where to pick up some extraordinary munchies, get outside and get picnicking, Israeli style.

Science and Technology

Why Tel Aviv is the world’s new startup capital. According to the 2018 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Tel Aviv has the highest number of startups per capita in the world, and the highest investment of GDP in research and development (R&D). It’s also one of the top-performing cities for global connections and global market reach, and has been highlighted by Compass and Fortune magazine as one of the best places in the world to start a business.

Israeli breakthrough could end cancer recurrence. For people fighting cancer, the thing they frequently fear most is a recurrence or relapse of the cancer after treatment. Israeli scientists may have found a way to treat cancer – once and for all.

Anti-tumor freeze technology to be used in Israeli hospital. Tel Aviv-listed IceCure Medical Ltd., a company developing a minimally invasive medical device for eliminating tumors, announced it will start offering its technology in Israel in upcoming weeks. The device is an ultrasound imaging-guided probe that injects liquid nitrogen into a tumor. The company states that the process takes 20-40 minutes, does not require hospitalization, leaves minimal to no scarring, and has a short recovery time.

In Depth

Economic peace in the West Bank. A look at three different Israel businesses operating in Area C of the West Bank that hire Palestinian workers, and their struggles and triumphs in an attempt to foster peace.

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