On this final Friday of Ramadan, hundreds of Palestinians rioted on the Temple Mount, waving Hamas flags and throwing rocks and fireworks. Some threw rocks down at Jews worshipping at the Western Wall. Police entered the Temple Mount to stop the rioting. At least 12 rioters were reported injured and several arrested. The violence ended around an hour later, after other Palestinians in the compound intervened, convincing the stone throwers and the police to pull back. Today is one of the busiest days at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount. The police presence in and around the Old City has been significantly increased.
Security forces arrested Nazir Nassar, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, in a raid in the West Bank early this morning.
The IDF will deploy six battalions of reservist forces at the West Bank security barrier to prevent terrorist attacks and illegal crossings.
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal against the establishment of a new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron’s old city. Called the Hezekiah Quarter, the new neighborhood is expected to include 31 residential units, including a six-story apartment building. Construction began last year.
Ra'am, the Arab party that has been part of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's coalition, has agreed to end its boycott and vote with the government when the Knesset returns to session on May 9th. Ra'am had refused to vote with the government earlier this month as pressure mounted on it over the ongoing tensions and violence between police and Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. After Ra’am returns to the government, the coalition will accelerate several moves important to the party, including the immediate recognition of illegal Bedouin villages in southern Israel.
In his address at Yad Vashem (the holocaust museum in Jerusalem) at the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day yesterday, PM Bennett called on the world to stop comparing the Holocaust to other events in history. He also warned Jews against letting internal divisions tear society apart.
With the Ministry of Interior's Immigration and Population Authority struggling to keep up with demand for renewing passports, the order allowing dual citizens to travel abroad on foreign passports has been extended until January 1, 2023.
The shekel is at its weakest against the dollar since early April 2021.
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The American Jewish Committee (AJC) this week released the results of a first-ever survey of US and Israeli Jewish Millennials. While there were many similarly held views and opinions, there were also key differences. The AJC lists three major takeaways:
1. Young Israeli and American Jews believe it is important that the American Jewish community and Israel maintain a strong bond.
2. Young Israeli and American Jews see a strong Israel as necessary for the survival of diaspora communities.
3. Young Israeli Jews are concerned about antisemitism in America.
CLICK HERE for the full report and for detailed breakdowns of the questions and answers.
ISRAEL UPDATE, APRIL 27, 2022
The Syrian Defense Ministry said that four soldiers were killed and three others wounded in an Israeli missile attack on Damascus late last night. The Saudi Arabian Al Hadath news channel reported that the target of the attack was a shipment of weapons for the Iran backed Hezbollah terror group. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several missiles struck areas near Damascus International Airport on the southern edge of the capital as well as several suburbs. It said the areas hit host Syrian military positions as well as some of Iran-backed fighters. The attack came a day after an Israeli drone crashed on the Syrian side of the border.
An armed terrorist affiliated with Islamic Jihad was killed during a raid by security forces in Jenin. The security forces came under attack during the raid, in which they arrested 12 terror suspects.
Tonight and tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, when we remember the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust and honor those who managed to survive. There are currently over 160,000 holocaust survivors living in Israel.
The Israel Police and the Shin Bet are investigating a threatening letter, that came along with a live bullet, sent to a member of PM Bennett's family who resides in the family home in Ra'anana.
Israel took part in the international defense conference held in Germany yesterday to discuss the arming of Ukraine and the war. Over 40 NATO member countries attended.
IDF and Police forces thwarted a large weapons smuggling attempt from Lebanon on Monday night and confiscated 100 grenades and some rifle. Police are investigated whether Hezbollah was involved in the smuggling attempt, as they have been in the past.
ISRAEL UPDATE, APRIL 25, 2022
A rocket fired from southern Lebanon landed in an open area in the western Galilee last night. IDF Spokesperson Ran Kochav said that no group has claimed responsibility for the rocket launch but estimated that a Palestinian faction operating in southern Lebanon was behind the fire that was a show of solidarity with the protests at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. He also said that there are hundreds of Hamas operatives in southern Lebanon. The IDF responded to the rocket with artillery fire towards the location of the launch early today.
On Friday, two rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza. One of them landed in a field in Israel but the other fell short and landed and exploded in Gaza, near a UN operated school. On Wednesday, terrorists launched a rocket that crashed in the southern city of Sderot, causing damage to a residential home and several cars. In response, the IDF struck that night what it called "an underground complex in Gaza used to produce rocket engines" which will "significantly impede rocket manufacturing capabilities in Gaza". Several Hamas air defense positions were also destroyed in an attack. Israel has closed off the border crossing with Gaza. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that "Israel will continue to show civil and economic generosity, only if stability and security are maintained."
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a request to reopen an investigation into the deaths of four Palestinian children who were killed by an Israeli airstrike while playing on the beach in Gaza during the 2014 war. The court upheld earlier decisions by Israeli military investigators and legal authorities determining that the incident was a tragic mistake.
Security forces arrested 12 terror suspects in several West Bank locations in operations over the weekend.
The Israeli shekel is weakening against the US dollar, at least temporarily.
US President Joe Biden has accepted an invitation from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to visit Israel. The two leaders spoke over the phone on Sunday. No firm date has been set for the visit, which will be President Biden's first trip to Israel since taking office.
Small investors who cannot afford to buy residential property in Israel for investment are finding more affordable alternatives in the commercial market.
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Jewish Federations of North America is providing updates twice a week on the latest developments in Ukraine, including the latest on immigration and Israel. You can join on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:30PM EST each week. Please CLICK HERE to register.