Sudan joins Abraham Accords; Israel goes into third lockdown: Israel Update

January 8, 2021

Sudan signed the Abraham Accords on Wednesday, officially agreeing to peace and normalization with Israel. The African nation became the third of four countries to sign on to the Trump administration-brokered accords—after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain—and before Morocco. Sudan had announced its willingness to join in late October, but government leaders wouldn't proceed until the US removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, which it did in December. Sudan paid $335 million in compensation to American victims of terrorism, and their families, as part of the agreement with the US. The two countries also settled Sudan’s debt with the World Bank, a step that should further economic recovery for the north-African state, which has over $60 billion in foreign debt. In addition, Sudan agreed to negotiate the repatriation of thousands of migrants who have entered Israel illegally. About 6,200 Sudanese migrants and asylum-seekers currently live in Israel.


The Israeli government approved regulations for the country’s latest lockdown, after a long and heated debate on Wednesday night. The decision was made just one day after the Health Ministry reported 8,368 new COVID-19 cases, 828 people in serious condition, and 200 requiring intubation. Coronavirus commissioner Nachman Ash further reported that some 30 cases of the British mutation have already been discovered in Israel. Just last week, Israel was receiving praise from around the world for its rapid vaccine rollout, but now, with a new variant of the virus and numbers again soaring, Israeli leaders decided a third, nationwide lockdown would be necessary. The lockdown began at midnight on Thursday and is due to end on January 21.


The Israeli military has deployed air defense batteries around the southern city of Eilat in recent days, amid concerns an attack from the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which is based in Yemen, could be imminent. The move came near the first anniversary of the United States killing of Qassem Soleimani, and a month and a half after the head of Iran’s military nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed—allegedly by Israel. Soleimani was the influential head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ expeditionary Quds Force, who was killed in an airstrike in Iraq in early 2020. In light of this potential threat, Iron Dome and Patriot missile defense batteries have been deployed near the southern tip of Eilat. In recent weeks, the Israeli military has reportedly sent a submarine into nearby waters—through the Suez Canal and into the Red Sea.


As part of a $1.68 billion deal between Israel and Greece—the largest-ever defense agreement between the two countries—the Hellenic Air Force will acquire ten M-346 aircraft, and Israel’s Elbit Systems will establish a flight school and maintain training. Israel will also provide simulators, training, and logistical support as part of the 20-year deal. The agreement is emblematic of an increasingly close relationship between Athens and Jerusalem that has seen Greece lease Israeli drones, and has involved a pipeline deal between the countries. Israeli Defense Ministry Benny Gantz said the deal reflected the excellent and developing relations with Greece. “It is a long-term partnership that will serve the interests of both Israel and Greece, create hundreds of jobs in both countries, and promote stability in the Mediterranean,” he said.


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 about efforts to support the community during this time. This page will be continually updated. 


We want to wish everyone a meaningful holiday season and happy New Year! We look forward to connecting back with you, and continuing our updates the first week of 2021.   


Shabbat Shalom, 


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


P.S. If you or a friend would like to get our own, up-to-the-minute Israel Update, you can sign up here; when asked for "interests" click "weekly Israel Update."

Netanyahu Trial Postponed by Latest Coronavirus Lockdown


Israel to Hold 4th Election In 2 Years as Coalition Fails to Pass Budget


IDF Sees Record Number of Israeli Arab Conscripts


Israeli Reporter Harassed by Antisemitic Pro-Trump Protester at US Capitol


A Guide to the Hate Symbols and Signs on Display at the US Capitol Riots
Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 8.53.39 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 8.57.10 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 8.52.26 AM.png

Our JCRC is curating a diverse schedule of webinars, hosted by our local and national partners, on Israel and other issues related to our work. Click here to view this calendar.


Together, we can do virtually anything. If you or a loved one need help during this crisis, please reach out to our COVID-19 Hotline.


 Follow the Jewish

Community Relations

Council on Facebook



• Follow director Jackie

Congedo and the JCRC

on Twitter



• Visit our website for

more information and


About Us

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Contact Us

Jackie Congedo, Director 

Jewish Community Relations Council 

513-985-1501 |

© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

From: David Allison Sent: Monday, January 11, 2021 9:47 AM To: Justin Kirschner Subject: Re: israel update Justin, Did you send me last week’s HTML code? Don’t see it in my inbox. Thanks, David David Allison Marketing Account Manager Jewish Federation of Cincinnati P 513-985-2965 C 513-276-5914 Our Top News and Stories: @ On Dec 11, 2020, at 1:38 PM, Justin Kirschner wrote: This page has been developed to help our community stay informed about efforts to support the community during this time. This page will be continually updated. 




P.S. If you or a friend would like to get our own, up-to-the-minute Israel Update, you can sign up here; when asked for "interests" click "weekly Israel Update."

Former Israeli Space Security Chief Says Extraterrestrials Exist


Netanyahu rival leaves Likud to challenge for premiership


Abbas: Palestinians Ready to Resume Peace Talks with Israel



SpaceIL's Beresheet 2 Moonshot Set for 2024


PA Silent; Hamas, Islamic Jihad Condemn Morocco-Israel Ties as ‘Betrayal’