Archives For Israel

With Israel tallying record numbers of daily coronavirus cases each day in the past few weeks, a Health Ministry official has threatened that the country is “one step” away from another full lockdown.

The number of serious COVID-19 cases surged to 183, up 32 in one day with well over 1,000 new cases reported each day. But while the worrying numbers have prompted growing concern by authorities, the Israeli public has grown restless from the stringent restrictions that have crippled entire sectors of the economy. 

Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated to raise awareness about the economic hardships and against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership during the pandemic on Saturday night. The self-employed and other business owners protested restrictions on businesses, a lack of compensation for the closures and for lockdowns on specific neighborhoods where outbreaks have been recorded. 

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An Israeli reporter said the Palestinian Authority has arrested several Palestinians that he interviewed who expressed support for Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. There is no such thing as freedom of speech in “Palestine”.

Tzvi Yehezkeli of Channel 13 said at least six people he interviewed were subsequently arrested by the PA’s security services despite their faces being blurred and their voices distorted in the televised news segment.

“I was surprised to see that even though I’ve blurred the faces of all the people I filmed and distorted their voices, the Authority has reached and arrested (some) of them, it’s just amazing,” Yehezkeli told the AFP news agency.

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Several third-party businesses, including Uber, DoorDash and Ritual, are severing ties with a Toronto restaurant after it refused to take back an anti-Semitic post on social media: “#zionistsnotwelcome.” Zionist simply means Jew.

Foodbenders already has a history of anti-Semitism and controversy in general. It posted a sign, “f—k the police” and another sign saying it was now open to “non-racist shoppers,” adding the hashtags “freepalestine” and “zionistsnotwelcome.” Its social media accounts have also been rife with statements such as “police brutality is an Israeli export” and “Zionists are Nazis,” including hashtags such as #intifada. Instagram shut the restaurant’s account after several complaints.

As a result of the incident, delivery services cut ties with the restaurant and several Canadian politicians have denounced the establishment.

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A Hamas military commander, who was allegedly operating as a spy for Israel, is believed to have been smuggled by boat out of Gaza, causing pandemonium among security officials in the coastal enclave.

Sources told the Palestinian news website Amad that the man, who headed Hamas’s commando frogman unit, apparently fled into Israel via the Mediterranean Sea on an Israel army boat, reports said on Saturday. The Palestinian, named as Izz a-Din Badr, was a senior member of Hamas’ Naval Commando unit. 

Around the same time as Badr’s alleged escape, Hamas arrested members of an Islamic State (ISIS) cell which Palestinians claim was actually being run by Israeli intelligence. Sources claim that Muhammad Abu Ajawa — who was a senior Hamas military commander — began working with Israeli intelligence agencies in 2009. He was discovered only recently when he asked his brother to collect cash that was left near a garbage bin. 

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Israel made history this week when it appointed a Bedouin citizen of the Jewish state to serve as its ambassador abroad.

Ishmael Khaldi will become Israel’s ambassador to Eritrea. He also made history as the first Bedouin Israeli to serve as a diplomat in the Foreign Ministry since joining the foreign service in 2004. He has held several diplomatic posts in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Khaldi, who is Muslim, is from a Bedouin community in the North. While he grew up living in a tent and working as a shepherd, Khaldi has forged a trailblazing career in the Jewish state. He served as a police officer and received a master’s degree in political science from Tel Aviv University before rising to senior levels of the Foreign Ministry. 

For more than a decade now Khaldi has been a staunch defender of Israel, countering Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) efforts abroad. He often speaks of his national pride as an Israeli Arab.

Khaldi made news last month and has filed a complaint against police after being roughed up by three offices as he was taking video at a bus station. The officers pinned him down to the floor.

“I screamed ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t move,’’ he said.

Despite this, Khaldi rejected any comparisons to George Floyd, the black American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. Nevertheless, Khaldi said he will be vindicated by security camera footage and has demanded it be made public. He may also sue for defamation.

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