Israelis stood in silence on Thursday 28 April at 10.00 a.m. while a two-minute siren was heard across the country in remembrance of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. People halted where they were walking, and drivers stopped their cars to get out of the vehicles as people bowed their heads in memory of the victims of the Nazi genocide. Read more here
The head of Germany’s parliament, Bundestag President Barbel Bas, arrived in Israel on Wednesday to participate in a series of events to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. Read more here
Israel’s P.M. Bennett delivered a stark message Wednesday evening calling on the world to stop comparing the Holocaust to other events in history. He said. “No event in history, cruel as it may have been, is comparable to the extermination of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators.”Read more here
83 years since the beginning of World War II and the Holocaust, the Jewish people have still not replenished their numbers. In 1939, the world Jewish population stood at 16.6 million; at the end of 2020, it totalled 15.2 million. At the same time, the world population increased from 2.3 billion to 7.9 billion. Read more here
Each year, six Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The stories of Shmuel Blumenfeld Rebecca Elizur Zvi Gill Olga Kay Arie Shilansky & Shaul Spielmann may be read at the links embedded in their names. Read more here
21 Holocaust survivors arrived in Israel from Ukraine on Wednesday. In total, some 500 Holocaust survivors are estimated to be among the more than 15,000 people from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus who have immigrated to Israel over the past two months.Read more here
Early Friday morning on the eve of Passover, (15/4) after Ramadan prayers, dozens of young Arabs on the Temple Mount fired fireworks and threw stones toward the Jewish prayer space at the Western Wall below. Israeli forces responded to break up the violent crowd. (The attacks continued during Passover week.) Read more here
Israeli police entered the Temple Mount complex on Sunday morning as hundreds of Palestinians tried to block Jewish visitors from visiting the holy site. Also Sunday morning, Palestinian rock-throwers attacked several Egged buses just outside the Old City en route to the Western Wall, smashing windows and leaving several passengers lightly wounded, including a 13-year-old girl. Ten buses were reportedly attacked, over a two-hour period.
Hundreds of Palestinians youths stockpiled rocks in the Al-Aqsa compound which they planned to use along with iron bars and makeshift barricades. Read more here
Three Jewish worshippers were walking in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday when rioters suddenly attacked them, threw large objects at them, punched and kicked them, and then fled. Two suspects were arrested. Read more here
The violent clashes on the Temple Mount on Friday and Sunday were not spontaneous. The scope of violence required advance preparation. Many of the rioters are residents of eastern Jerusalem and call themselves the The gang of al-Aqsa numbering hundreds is funded inter alia by the Palestinian Authority and local residents. They smuggled fireworks, rocks and other objects to hurl at the police into the mosque compound over several days and stored them in multiple locations. Read more here
Media showed that the stone-throwers who barricaded themselves inside Al-Aqsa Mosque had their shoes on – in breach of the Islamic tradition to remove footwear when entering the house of prayer. Read more here
However, in contrast, over 100,000 Muslim worshippers took part peacefully in mass prayers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening.Read more here
The father of a 15-year-old girl suspected of a terror stabbing in Haifa said online videos incited his daughter to attack Jews. The 15-year-old is suspected of stabbing and wounding a 47-year-old Jewish man on Friday 15/4. Read more here
The Emirati foreign minister “expressed his appreciation for Israeli efforts to calm the situation and expressed understanding for the on-the-ground difficulties that Israel faces.” Read more here
Palestinian terrorists are responsible for the (recent) violent riots on the Temple Mount, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the UN Security Council on Monday. “Many in the international community called for ‘calm on both sides’,” but such a demand was “completely detached from reality. The very notion that mobs of violent rioters motivated by radical Islamic terror groups could be placed on the same moral scale as a law-abiding democracy making every effort to keep the peace is ludicrous.” Read more here
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, confirming Israel’s account, told the UN Security Council on Monday: “On 15 April, during the early morning hours, a large number of Palestinians gathered at the Al Aqsa compound. Some Palestinians threw stones, fireworks and other heavy objects toward Israeli security forces (ISF)….Several dozen Palestinians entered a mosque in the compound, with some continuing to throw stones and fireworks toward ISF. Following a standoff with those inside, Israeli police entered the mosque and arrested those barricaded inside.”
“Despite the tensions, overall, hundreds of thousands of Muslims, Jews, and Christians have been able to celebrate the holy days in and around the Old City in relative peace.” Read more here
Photo: Palestinian Rioters Throw a Firebomb from inside Al-Aqsa Mosque on 20/4/22 View here
Nearing the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, police said Thursday they would boost deployment in Jerusalem with around 3,000 officers ahead of Ramadan’s last Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Read more here
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on 18/4 was intercepted. Read more here
On 21/4, rocket fire damaged a parked car and a wall near a home in Sderot. Several people were treated for shock, including a 70-year-old man who was transferred to hospital. Six others were injured while seeking shelter, four of them transferred to hospital for medical treatment.
Late on 22/4, two rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel. One rocket struck Israel causing no damage or injuries, while the other landed inside Gaza, reportedly seriously injuring a Palestinian and lightly wounding three others. Read more here
A rocket fired from Lebanon landed near Kibbutz Matzuva, Western Galilee on Monday. In response, Israel shelled targets in Southern Lebanon. Read more here
Analysis of the PA’s expenditures in 2021 shows that, per capita, it spends 33 times more paying terror rewards than it spends on health services for the Palestinian population, 11 times more paying terror rewards than it spends on education of Palestinian children, and twice as much as it spends on benefits for needy Palestinians.
The PA spent $193 million on terrorist prisoners and released terrorists and another $78 million on wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists. Read more here
Israeli flags in hand, 103 Arab-Israeli teenagers, many fasting for Ramadan, were set to march alongside Holocaust survivors in the March of the Living on Thursday. Read more here
Five years ago, Jonathan Elkhoury an Arab Israeli Christian formed a group of Israeli minorities – Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouin – who were interested in getting more involved in society, including serving in the IDF. “Now we have so many that are just waiting to go and speak,” he said.When Israeli minorities appear on campuses that have anti-Israel activists and they defend the Jewish state, “it shakes their whole lives and beliefs.”Christians make up 2% of Israel’s population, around 160,000 people. “Christian society is one of the most successful minorities. We have doctors, lawyers, judges….There is no glass ceiling.”
Elkhoury said 1/3 of Christian teens join military service or the police.Read more here
As Passover and Ramadan coincided last week, a Beersheba community of Arabs and Jews celebrated with a joint Iftar and Mimouna, combining the feasts that mark the end of the daily Ramadan fast and the traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration at the conclusion of Passover with more than 300 people taking part.Read more here
Local Palestinian leader Mohammed Nasser of Dura has been called a traitor for speaking with Israelis. So he was not afraid of attending a kosher iftar meal in Hebron with Israeli guests, including leaders from the city’s Jewish community. Read more here
(Figures from approximately 4 weeks ago in brackets for comparison.)
As at Tuesday morning, there were 27,570 active confirmed COVID cases in Israel, with 4,440 (12,093) new cases diagnosed on Monday. Currently, 595 COVID-positive patients are hospitalized, with 212 (265) in serious condition and 74 (102) of those on ventilators. The R reproduction rate has trended slightly upward in recent days, reaching 0.9 after hitting 0.7 a week ago.
New Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus BA.4 and BA.5 have been detected among arriving travellers at Ben Gurion Airport,
On Saturday evening, Israel’s indoor mask mandate came to an end after almost two full years in effect. Currently, masks are only required in hospitals, old age homes and aboard flights. Read more here
Israel will provide Ukraine with helmets and protective vests for rescue and emergency personnel.Read more here
The Israeli company Salignostics will begin commercial production of its Salistick, the world’s first rapid pregnancy test that uses saliva. The test kits have been approved by the EU and the Israeli Health Ministry. Read more here
An Israeli startup SolCold that has been developing an eco-friendly cooling technology using the sun’s rays as a counter-intuitive but effective catalyst to bring down temperatures in structures such as buildings, cars, and containers, has sealed a new deal with German auto giant Volkswagen to test its product and jointly develop a concept vehicle. Read more here
E-commerce giant Amazon has invested in Israeli robotics company BionicHIVE, the developer of an automated warehouse solution based on a fleet of synchronized autonomous robots. Read more here
Israeli food tech startup Remilk, a developer of cultured milk and dairy, plans to open the “world’s largest” facility for the production of cow-free milk in Denmark. Read more here
Tel Aviv is piloting an innovative solution to beat the heat in Israel – a solar-powered fabric Lumiweave that provides shade during the day and lighting at night, for pedestrians.Read more here
Optibus, an Israeli public transportation software provider for mass transit planning, scheduling, and operations currently active in 1000 cities around the world has teamed up with Ugandan IT company SCINTL to help establish the first public bus network in Kampala, Uganda. Read more here
A BBC Radio 4 programme “On Demand Buses” featured the company Via, founded in 2012 by Israelis Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, inspired by Israel’s “sherut” communal taxis. Via has sought to redefine urban transportation with an advanced digital ride-share platform. Via’s algorithms match – in real-time – multiple passengers travelling in the same direction.Read more here
Netflix will screen the Israeli historical melodrama “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” with the first ten episodes available on May 20 in selected countries, including the US, UK, France and Spain, with the second ten episodes of the first season coming out on July 29. Read more here
The US State Department called on “all sides to exercise restraint” and the Pope called for “an end to violence in Jerusalem”.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN.
Amanpour: “It’s a constant cycle of killing, bloodshed…there doesn’t seem to be any attempt to negotiate an end to the actual conflict.”
Bennett: “Well, first of all, the way the facts were presented is not accurate. Israel is peaceful. And about a month ago, unfortunately, a new wave of terror was thrown upon the Israeli public…Arab Muslim terrorists, some of them affiliated with ISIS, just came with rifles and started shooting people on the street. This is unacceptable. So I object to the notion of both sides. No. When they don’t attack us, we have no issues with them. But when they do attack us, I have to fight back and hit them at their terror bases.”
Amanpour: “When Palestinians see and when your region sees Israeli soldiers inside that [al-Aqsa] mosque, it creates a lot of tension, a lot of unease. Why do you allow Israeli soldiers to go into that mosque?”
Bennett: “Christiane, there you go again starting the story in the middle. But the actual fact is that, last Friday, at about 5:00 in the morning, roughly 300 Palestinian rioters entered the Temple Mount Mosque with explosives, with stones. They began desecrating their own mosque, burning, throwing stones, and preventing about 80,000 decent Muslims from going to pray. My responsibility as prime minister of Israel is to provide freedom of prayer to everyone in Jerusalem, including Muslims, which is why I had to send in policemen to remove the rioters. And it worked. Indeed, 80,000 Muslims went on later to pray peacefully.”
Read more here
J.Post Editorial: The Aqsa Mosque is not in any danger from Israel…Contrary to rumours that always spread this time of year, Israel does not have a secret plan to undermine the mosque. This canard stretches back at least a century to Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and led to the deadly 1929 riots. The “Aqsa is in danger” libel has led to hundreds of deaths over the last century.
What is needed now is for responsible leaders and countries to dispel the lie, not add to it. Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said: “I praise…those who throw rocks at the pro-Zionists who are defiling al-Aqsa Mosque.” Really? Israel was trying to keep Palestinian youth incited by Hamas from hurling rocks down on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall 62 feet below.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Here is the truth: Israel does everything so that everyone can always celebrate the holidays in security – Jews, Muslims and Christians. We expect from everyone that they do not join the lies, and certainly not encourage violence against Jews.” Read more here
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said Monday 18/4: “In recent weeks, the Israel Police have acted responsibly, with restraint, and with discretion in the face of many dozens of rioters who with their actions desecrate the values of Islam and the holiness of the [Temple] Mount. The Israel Police’s actions…are what has allowed prayers to take place for tens of thousands of Muslim believers. Such activity came only after all other means were exhausted, including intensive dialogue with the Waqf.” “Statements supporting violent actions, including the throwing of rocks, are beyond understanding and contribute to escalation. Israel is maintaining the status quo and expects all of its partners to condemn extremists partaking in incitement and violence.” Read more here