Israel Daily News Wrap
Tues. Jan 5, 2021
#118 Tues., Jan 5th, 2021
Israel goes into stricter lockdown, Greece makes a big purchase and a Palestinian man is shot and his meat cleaver falls to the floor.
- Israel is headed into a full blown lockdown. News is out that everything will be closed for two weeks including schools, which means the country’s third lockdown will be tighter than it was originally intended to be. Reports from the Health ministry say 30 Israelis have been infected with the mutated coronavirus that was found in London and have passed it on to 189 others. Members of parliament are calling on the public to take this last stretch seriously.
- Hundreds of government employees at Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office have jumped the line for the coronavirus vaccine, despite not fitting the current criteria for eligibility. That’s a scoop from the Times of Israel. Apparently, employees have been told by their department heads to show up on December 30th to get vaccinated despite their age, position, or medical condition. As of this morning, it has been announced that 1,370,000 Israelis had received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, including nearly 146,000 on Monday.
- A Palestinian man was killed this morning and a meat cleaver was found laying next to his body. A security officer spotted the man at the Gush Etzion junction in the west bank. The officer and an Israeli soldier ordered the man to stop approaching, fired shots into the air as a warning and when the man threw the large knife toward the security officer, he was shot dead. A slew of events in the area have made it a very tense place to be today. This includes the murder of Ester Horgen, a 52-year-old mother of 6 who was killed while on a run nearby, rock-throwing, a Jewish woman killed in a car during a police chase and another Palestinian man who was paralyzed by an officer during a scuffle with the IDF over illegal construction equipment. Famed Israeli American Ari Fuld was killed at the Gush Etzion junction in 2018.
- Settlers are on a hunger strike calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu to authorize more outposts in the west bank and to focus on them, instead of courting Israeli Arabs for their votes. More settlers are expected to join the strike in the coming days. Advocacy groups have posted up outside the Prime Minister’s Office to pressure him into authorizing about 70 outposts. Netanyahu pushed to recognized a slew of Bedouin villages and was also photographed with an Israeli-Arab citizen, who was the millionth Israeli to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Settlers claim he has the wrong focus. Through the hunger strike, settlers are trying to remind Netanyahu that they are his electoral base.
- A political update — the Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen is leaving Benny Gantz’ Blue and White party to join the opposition Yesh Atid. She’s the ninth lawmaker to jump ship in the past two weeks. The country is heading for a fourth election in the last two years which is set to take place on March 23rd.
- Following up on a story we talked about back in November, Egyptian rapper and actor Mohamed Ramadan has been reinstated in the TV series called Musa. In November, Ramadan was accused of betraying the Palestinian cause by taking pictures with two Israelis — singer Omer Adam and footballer Dia Saba — on a rooftop in Dubai. The pictures caused Egypt’s artist union to suspend Ramadan’s membership… but they then lifted the ban in December. The journalists union also decided to stop boycotting Ramadan and this past Saturday, an Egyptian court dismissed a case that attempted to block him from acting and singing in Egypt.
- Israel’s Mediterranean neighbor Greece has just made a big purchase from the holy Land. And it includes $1.68 billion dollar agreement to purchase training aircraft. The idea is to help establish a flight school for Greece’s air force. The deal still needs two signatures from each country’s defense minister.
I’ll send you off today with Keep on Going. It’s a song by Ronen Topper who lives in Israel. He said he wrote it for a friend when she was going through a hard time. Have a great and productive day.
Podcast closing song: Music: Ronen Topper with Keep on Going https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1353852448111320