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Israel Update 20.6.19



Three students had a narrow escape last Thursday night when a rocket fired from Gaza (the second fired that day) hit and damaged a Sderot yeshiva, sending concrete and glass flying. Had the missile struck a few minutes earlier when the main study hall was filled with students, a few metres closer, or had a warhead exploded, the outcome would have been far more devastating. A Chabad Lubavitch synagogue adjacent to the school was holding a weekly Bible study session at the time.  Read more here


In response, the IDF attacked a number of terrorist targets in Gaza.  Read more here


Gazans launched dozens of arson balloons into Israel on Friday, causing at least 7 fires near Israeli border communities. Gazan rioters along the border threw explosive devices at troops and briefly breached the fence in one spot before returning to Gaza Read more here


A suspicious package attached to balloons was found Monday morning near an Israeli community close to Gaza. Police sappers were alerted to deal with the device.  Read more here


The Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group on Wednesday said Israel was abiding by the terms of an unofficial ceasefire agreement reached last month. Under the truce, Hamas reportedly agreed to halt violent incidents along the border fence…(and) end the launching of incendiary balloons at Israeli communities…However, the flow of balloon-borne incendiary and explosive devices has not stopped in the past six weeks, and is widely seen by Israeli analysts as a tool with which the group can exert pressure on Israel.  Read more here




EXTRACT: Last year I started a Google Map to show as many of the fires that were started by flaming kites and balloons launched from Gaza, as I could. These tools of arson are launched to destroy that which we, and those who came before us, have built and nurtured…As of today, (15.6.19) there are over 1,060 pins on this map…We here, in the Western Negev, have experienced 11 escalations of violence over the past year (and 18 years of the longest war of attrition in our history)….there are more and more fires each day. Yesterday there were 15. Did you know that?… Please keep us in your thoughts and hearts. Read more here




Israel’s national water company Mekorot has begun work on an upgraded pipeline to increase the flow of drinkable water to Gaza. There are three pipelines currently carrying fresh water from Israel into Gaza. Israel has committed to transferring 10 million cubic metres of water each year to Gaza, but in practice transfers more, 11.5 million cubic metres. The new pipeline will be the largest yet. Read more here


Israel will reportedly build a new pipeline to take raw sewage that has been spilling into the country from the Gaza Strip and process it on the Israeli side. Read more here




A laser system designed by Israel’s Elbit Systems to protect aircraft against infrared missiles will be implemented in NATO’s Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) starting in 2020.  Read more here




Iranian officials have repeatedly declared that despite the geographical and logistical challenges of delivering weapons to Palestinian factions in the West Bank, arming these groups remains a priority. Iran so far has failed to transfer missiles to Palestinian factions in the West Bank, but it’s not giving up.  Read more here


Israeli security forces have arrested a Jordanian citizen on suspicion of acting as a spy for Iran.   Read more here




In the Jordan Valley excellent relations between the Jewish communities and their Arab neighbours are reported. Over 6,000 Palestinians are employed in Jewish communities daily, going up to 12,000 in peak periods.”  The Jewish farmers share their agricultural expertise with their Palestinian neighbours whose quality of life has improved dramatically according to a spokesman from the Jordan Valley Regional Council.   Read more here


The ruling Palestinian Fatah faction has decided to expel the mayor of Deir Qaddis, a to. in the West Bank, and has called on the Palestinian Authority to launch an investigation against Palestinians who were seen celebrating together with Jews during the wedding of the mayor’s son.  The mayor and his son were accused of treason on Palestinian social media, while the names of the Palestinians who brought the Jews to the wedding were delivered to the Palestinian security forces so they could face legal measures. Read more here


Palestinian engineers working for Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies will share a $3.5 million payout when the company’s takeover by a U.S. company is completed. Mellanox offered stock options to more than 100 Palestinian engineers in the West Bank and Gaza when it hired them as contractors.  After the takeover, the options can be exercised, worth an estimated $30-40,000 per employee. Read more here




Later this month a resident of the Galilee, will receive his helicopter pilot wings and become the first Druze pilot in the Israel Air Force. He said he preferred flying helicopters to fighter jets because they fly closer to the ground. Three other Druze airmen already serve as navigators. Read more here




A group of French imams, part of a delegation of over 40 Muslim leaders,toured the northern West Bank last week on the invitation of settler leaders. One of them, Hassen Chalghoumi, said support of boycotts of Israel ran against Quranic law…Sheikh Abu-Khalil Tamimi of Ramallah also attended.  Read more here


President Rivlin on Sunday met with the delegation of French imams and French and Belgian Muslim activists in Jerusalem.

Read more here




The State of Arizona will be setting up a trade office in Israel later this year, A variety of Israel-based companies have operations in Arizona, including Mobileye, Elbit Systems and Keter Group. Read more here




Approximately 340 Kachin Baptist Convention participants have studied agriculture through the Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training since the partnership began in 2011. These students from Myanmar join those from 13 other Asian and African countries at one of five agricultural cooperatives. Several returnees have gone on to pursue agribusiness in Myanmar, for example one established a 60-acre macadamia nut farm using a kibbutz model.  Read more here




Anheuser-Busch InBev the world’s largest beer maker (500 brands including Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois) is opening a cybersecurity unit in Israel to help protect itself from a growing number of attacks.  Read more here




6 Israeli products to help guard against summer hazards such as jellyfish stings, swimming pool accidents, sun protective clothing, poor drinking water quality etc   Read more here




In a rare move, India voted in favour of a motion introduced by Israel in the UN Economic and Social Council which opposed the grant of consultative status to a Palestinian NGO that Israel said did not disclose its ties with Hamas. Countries also voting in favour included Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Ukraine, the UK and the US.   Read more here




Israeli & Palestinian business people, but not government officials, will be invited to attend the upcoming Palestinian economic workshop in Bahrain.   Read more here


In response to the Bahrain Conference on economic investment in the PA, President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Movement is calling for violence against Israel on the days the conference is taking place, urging Palestinians to “escalate confrontations.”   Read more here




Matthew Brodsky: According to the latest poll by Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, 82% of Palestinians believe the PA is corrupt, and 60% want PA President Abbas to resign. Abbas is currently serving in the 15th year of a four-year-term. All this shows that good governance and institution-building have proven elusive to the Palestinian leadership.A December 2018 study released by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace found that Palestinian leaders and institutions “do little policymaking, pursue no coherent ideology, express no compelling moral vision, are subject to no oversight, and inspire no collective enthusiasm.” Nevertheless, the PA is one of the largest recipients of international aid in the world, with the donations reinforcing bad governance. Read more here


J Post Editorial: Terrorism and anti-normalization campaigns put an end to any hope of the Oslo Accords succeeding in the 1990s and doomed all subsequent peace talks. This is the true tragedy of the Palestinians. They are being betrayed by their own leaders.
The economic workshop in Bahrain should be seen as a positive move for the whole region, but as long as the PA top ranks are not willing to see Israelis dancing together with Palestinians at a wedding, it is hard to imagine the PA allowing its own people any joy in other fields.   Read more here




Tom Derek Bowden a British veteran, recently died aged 97. He was one of 5,000 foreigners who volunteered to fight for the State of Israel in the 1948 War of Independence .He enlisted in the British Army in 1938 at age 17 and fought in WW2. In 1942, he led a cavalry charge in Syria against the Vichy French, under the command of Moshe Dayan. After the War of Independence he founded the IDF Parachute School, wrote the manual of operations and helped lead the Israeli Paratrooper brigade.     Read more here