News From Israel

“News from Israel” presents a compilation of news stories from major Israeli and other publications. To see the source and to read the full story behind a headline, click the hyperlink in the corresponding news item.

No. 111, November 06, 2019

Call for Action
AIPAC: Urge your representative to sign a bipartisan letter on Hezbollah’s threat to Israeli security. In a new bipartisan letter to the U.N. Secretary-General members of the House of Representatives highlight the dangerous role Hezbollah is playing in Lebanon and hold the U.N. to its commitment to contain Hezbollah. Please urge your representative to sign onto this important bipartisan letter to combat the threat posed by Hezbollah.

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Inside Israel
International
Culture and Lifestyle
Science and Technology

Inside Israel
Israel jumps 14 places in “Ease of Doing Business” rankings. Israel has risen 14 places in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” rankings and is now in 35th place out of 190 countries, up from 49 last year. Israel has risen 19 places in the past two years. The change is mostly due to improvements in government bureaucracy and regulations.

Shorashim facilitates meetings between Israelis and Palestinians. For anyone who has lived in this country, whether Arab or Jew, the scene in the Gush Etzion region in the West Bank mid-September would have seemed nearly surrealistic. A dozen young men from a nearby yeshiva were sitting in a circle together with young Palestinian men, drinking coffee and chatting. Leading the discussion were several adults – Jewish religious settlers and devout Muslim Palestinians from neighboring towns.

Israel preparing for Iranian cruise missile or drone attack. Israel is preparing for an Iranian cruise missile or drone strike in response to Israel’s recent attacks on Iranian regional proxies, Army Radio reported. Israeli sources said the IDF was on high alert for the possibility.

Sderot home hit in rocket barrage from Gaza Strip. A home in the southern city of Sderot sustained a direct hit as three waves of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities bordering the coastal enclave. No injuries were reported. The Iron Dome missile defense system brought down at least seven rockets during the attacks.

International
IDF chief says all fronts “fragile,” could deteriorate into a war. Israel is currently dealing with multiple arenas and enemies at the same time, with the northern front (Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon) the most fragile at risk of deteriorating into war, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said. Israel’s top three priorities are: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, thwarting Hezbollah’s precision missile project and preventing Iranian entrenchment in various Middle Eastern countries.
Israel and Jordan mark 25 years of imperfect peace. While the peace agreement remains intact, there is a sense on both sides that it should have delivered much bigger dividends. The warm relations envisioned at the peace agreement signing ceremony remain elusive, and in Jordan there is little public support for the agreement. Nevertheless, the two countries maintain close, covert security relations.

Knesset Speaker: Time to end absurd claims regarding Israel’s responsibility for economic situation in Gaza. Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein slammed claims that Israel was responsible for economic conditions in Gaza. Edelstein said he told visiting EU representatives that Hamas leaders in Gaza “have all the necessary means – they use the money earmarked for the public benefit in order to attack the State of Israel” and he blamed Hamas for poor living conditions in Gaza. 

Arab nations reject any Trump Israeli-Palestinian plan not on ’67 lines. Arab nations have rejected any Israeli-Palestinian peace plan not based on the pre-1967 lines, as US special envoy Jared Kushner visited Israel and Saudi Arabia in advance of the publication of US President Donald Trump’s Deal of the Century to resolve the conflict. It is widely believed that Trump’s plan would allow Israel to retain all its West Bank settlements, where some 430,000 of its citizens live.

Democratic presidential candidates on aid to Israel. At the annual J Street national conference, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said that part of the US military assistance to Israel should instead go toward humanitarian relief in Gaza. He referred to the present Israeli government as “racist”. Buttigieg and Warren supported using the US assistance as a means to pressure Israel. Julian Castro said that he “supports doing everything we can to pressure Israel” and that he “would restore the UN funding [for PLO] that was stripped by the Trump administration.” Amy Klobuchar refused to say if she would condition military aid to Israel on freezing building in the settlements. Biden was perhaps the most emphatic in defending assistance to Israel. “Israelis wake up every morning facing an existential threat,” he said in his video message.

Culture and Lifestyle
Israel fifth worldwide in millionaires per capita. Israel has 131,000 millionaires according to Credit Suisse. Israel is last among a list of 23 countries in the number of millionaires in absolute terms, but fifth in the world in the number of millionaires per capita, after the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Norway, and Portugal.

Squeezed for burial space, Jerusalem prepares an underground city of the dead. A local engineering firm and Jerusalem’s largest burial society have devised a plan to radically change how Jerusalemites dispose of their dead by building a modern system of burial caves, a throwback to a practice discontinued some two millennia ago. A $77 million project incorporates tunnels beneath an existing cemetery, with plots carved into rock several stories high. An app that will enable mourners to easily find loved ones is in the works.

Kurdish kids get urgent medical treatment in Israel. A Christian Zionist group in Jerusalem works with the Interior Ministry to get visas for Gazan, Syrian and Iraqi children to have heart surgery in Israel. “Israeli hospitals give significant discounts, even below cost, to help save the lives of these children,” the leader of the group said.

WATCH: Tel Aviv “Night Race” attracts 25,000 runners. Israelis flocked to Tel Aviv to take part in a six-mile road race that culminates in a dance party and pizza feast! Watch here.

Science and Technology
Israeli develops piston engine that runs on water, alcohol – no gas. The company called MayMaan Research, LLC has developed a system to operate a traditional piston engine with a combination of 70% water and 30% ethanol (or any other alcohol) – no gasoline or diesel required. This revolutionary system can be applied, say its founders, with simple yet sophisticated modifications of existing engine designs, and saves 50% on fuel costs, produces far fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel, and is up to 60% more efficient than gasoline.

Israeli cancer survival rates rise significantly. Five-year survival rates for Israelis (Jews & Arabs) diagnosed with all types of invasive cancers have increased significantly over the last decade. For example, of Jewish women diagnosed in 1996 only 63% survived five years or more. From 2011 this rose to 71%.

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