US President Donald Trump announced today that Sudan has agreed in principle to make peace with Israel, setting the stage for normalization of relations and future collaborations between the countries. A joint US-Israeli delegation traveled to Sudan on Wednesday for talks to end "the state of belligerence" between the two Middle East countries. Sudanese officials confirmed on Thursday that a senior US-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan in an effort to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel, this year. Formal normalization between the states are contingent upon ratification by Sudan's current non-existent transitional parliament.
The IDF struck sites belonging to Hamas after two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Ashkelon, on Thursday night. One rocket fell in an open field, while the second was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. The strikes targeted an underground tunnel and a site used to manufacture weapons. Tensions have climbed in southern Israel after the IDF announced that it had uncovered what it said was a Hamas attack tunnel inside Israeli territory that connected with the Gaza Strip. Soon after the announcement, a rocket was fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza toward Israel, but was intercepted by the Iron Dome system, said the military.
The Israeli Health Ministry said 895 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Thursday—a continuation of an infection rate decline likely spurred by a month-long national lockdown. However, in its daily report, the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center said that while the number of new cases was decreasing, the infection rate remained high in absolute terms. According to figures released Friday morning, the number of active cases further declined to 17,279. Seven Israelis have passed away since midnight, due to complications of COVID-19, which raised the country's total coronavirus-related death toll to 2,319 since the onset of the pandemic.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon this week. The two signed a joint declaration confirming Washington's strategic commitment to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the Middle East. Israel is concerned that it could lose its advantage if the US sells its F-35 advanced fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates. Qatar has also submitted a request to purchase F-35 jets. The signed declaration is intended to quell Israeli fears that it would no longer possess a regional military advantage.
The safety, health, and well-being of all community members is a priority for the Jewish Federation. Like many of you, we are closely monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page has been developed to help our community stay informed and provide resources to help maintain a sense of connection. This page will be continually updated.
Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC
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