Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel despite truce



Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel despite truce

Source: JTA, 6-26-12

Four rockets were fired from Gaza at a Jewish community in the Negev.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted two of the four rockets fired at Netivot Tuesday evening. The others landed in open areas and did not cause any damage, according to reports.

On Tuesday morning a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in a kibbutz in southern Israel struck an empty hen house.

The rockets were fired despite an Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Gazan terrorist groups that went into effect on Sunday evening.

More than 150 rockets fired from Gaza have struck southern Israel since the cross-border attacks began last week.


Terrorists Fire Four Grad Missiles at Netivot

Terrorists from Gaza fire a barrage of four Grad missiles at Netivot. Iron Dome intercepts two of them.
Iron Dome system

Iron Dome system
Flash 90

Terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza fired a barrage of four Grad missiles at the town of Netivot on Tuesday evening.

The Iron Dome system intercepted two of the missiles, and the other two exploded in open areas. There were no physical injuries and no reports of property damage.

Despite an Egyptian-brokered “ceasefire” announced by Hamas last week, terrorists from Gaza have continued firing rockets at southern Israel. On Tuesday morning, a Qassam rocket hit a kibbutz chicken barn, causing damage but no physical injuries.

The rocket exploded in the area of Sderot, located less than a mile from northern Gaza….READ MORE

Israel Brief June 26, 2012: Massive Jerusalem Fires in Motza area ‘Under Control’



Jerusalem Fires ‘Under Control’

A major blaze in Jerusalem’s Motza area has been brought under control by some 28 firefighting teams from across the country

Firefighters on Tuesday succeeded in bringing several fires in Motza area of Jerusalem under control.

Fire and Rescue Services Commissioner Shahar Ayalon postulated that the massive blaze could have broken out due to arson.

“A fire doesn’t start itself,” he said. “This was either caused by negligence or was lit intentionally.”

Police closed the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway (Highway 1) in both directions and reopened it two hours later. Some residents in the Motza area were evacuated. Four people suffered mild smoke inhalation injuries.

According the Fire Department, 35 firefighting teams were trying to contain the flames. Six IAF planes assisted in their efforts.

Ayalon said, despite the blaze being under control, it would nevertheless noted that it would take a while to extinguish the smaller fires….READ MORE

Israel Brief June 26, 2012: Gilad Shalit Receives Honorary NYC Welcome with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Marking 6th Anniversary of His Capture



Gilad Shalit Receives Honorary NYC Welcome

Gilad Shalit met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, marking the sixth anniversary of his capture.
Source: Israel National News, 6-26-12

Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Gilad Shalit met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn at City Hall on Monday, marking the sixth anniversary of his capture….

“I just know that the government of Israel had to make a decision and they didn’t walk away from the decision, they made one, and that’s what governing is all about,” Bloomberg told reporters in Jerusalem at the time.

Gilad was passing through New York en route to the European soccer championships, which are being held in Poland and the Ukraine.

He didn’t say much during the five-minute ceremony, other than to mention that the NBA finals were “not bad,” and he smiled when Mayor Bloomberg said that he wished that a New York team had made the finals, The New York Times reported.

He also smiled when Mr. Bloomberg showed him a photo, on his iPad of the mayor with Shalit’s parents.

Together, Bloomberg and Quinn presented Mr. Shalit with a crystal apple, donated by Tiffany’s.

Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Pushes for Deficit Spending



Netanyahu Pushes for Deficit Spending

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sought to offset reduced state revenues by setting a 3% deficit spending target.


Prime Minister Netanyahu and Finance Minister Steinitz on Sunday decided to seek a deficit target of 3% to compensate for reduced state revenues due to the slowdown in European economies.

In line with the decision, the government will be asked to set a lower deficit targets in the long run: 2% by 2016, and 1.5% until 2019.

Netanyahu noted that the government will make efforts to meet the objective of reducing the debt to GDP ratio in the field of 60% in 2020.

In their recommendation of the Minister of Finance is contrary to the position of Budget Division, proposed to increase the deficit target by only 1% – 2.5%.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the rise in the deficit to 3% instead of raising taxes will add to the budget 15 billion….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: Israel deports 150 more South Sudanese migrants



Israel deports 150 more South Sudanese

Source: JTA, 6-26-12

Israel deported 150 more migrants from South Sudan.

A planeload with the African migrants, which Israel calls illegal infiltrators, left Israel for South Sudan on Monday evening. Some 120 South Sudanese migrants had left Israel last week.

The migrants reportedly are leaving voluntarily in exchange for a cash grant and a flight home. Migrants who do not leave voluntarily will be imprisoned, according to reports.

Israel rounded up dozens of South Sudanese last week in immigration control sweeps….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: Statement by PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz After Their Meeting on Deficit Spending



Statement by PM Netanyahu and Finance Minister Steinitz

Photo by GPO

Source: PMO, 6-26-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz issued the following statements after their meeting this morning:

Prime Minster Netanyahu: “I have decided to adopt Finance Minister Steinitz’s recommendation on the deficit outline. I think that we will also maintain fiscal responsibility and a responsible and real economic framework for the State of Israel. But, of course, we will need to adopt a series of steps that the Finance Ministry will submit to us in order to ensure that this framework will indeed take place. In so doing, we will maintain important national programs such as blocking the entry of infiltrators and the free education law that we will apply in another two months.”

Finance Minister Steinitz: “After a long series of discussions at the Finance Ministry, with the participation of Bank of Israel and Prime Minister’s Office representatives, I have decided to update the 2013 deficit target to 3%.

Following the sharp slowdown in Europe, we have a decline in state revenues in Israel; therefore, we must update the deficit target. This is still a challenging and conservative deficit target that is lower than in most Western countries and we will need to make an effort over the coming weeks to submit steps to the Government in order to meet this deficit target.

We also decided to set long-term deficit targets – lowering the deficit to 2% by 2016 and 1.5% by 2019, and to maintain the original goal that we decided upon, which is the most important, of lowering Israel’s debt-to-GDP ratio to around 60% in 2020. In the coming weeks, we will present a plan to meet these targets.

I also met with the Prime Minister yesterday evening and I received his agreement to submit this decision for Cabinet approval on Sunday, July 1.”

Israel Political Brief June 26, 2012: Evacuation of Ulpana neighborhood of the Beit El settlement begins



Evacuation of Ulpana neighborhood begins

Source: JTA, 6-26-12

Residents and supporters of the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank held a morning prayer service as moving vans arrived to evacuate them from the disputed properties.

The first 15 families living in the outlying neighborhood of the Beit El settlement moved to trailer homes set up at a nearby army base on Tuesday. The other 15 families will move Thursday, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense.

The five apartment buildings are to be moved to 4.5 acres of state land that was a Border Police base and will be annexed to the settlement. Three hundred other dwellings also will be built there.

Movers hired by the Defense Ministry began packing up the families Tuesday morning. Four families said they would passively resist the evacuation, and all the families are asking media outlets to report that they are being forced from their homes and refrain from saying that the evacuation is by agreement. An agreement to evacuate and move the buildings was struck between the government and Beit El Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed.

A statement from the Ministry of Defense said “The operation is being carried out in full coordination, and with the agreement of community leaders and the residents themselves.”…READ MORE

Israel Brief June 26, 2012: Haredi Orthodox Men Arrested in Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum Anti-Israel Graffiti Vandalism



Haredi Orthodox men arrested in Yad Vashem vandalism

Source: JTA, 6-26-12

Three haredi Orthodox men were arrested for allegedly spray-painting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel graffiti on the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

The men, aged 18, 26 and 27, of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak and reportedly of the Neturei Karta group, were arrested Tuesday and reportedly admitted committing the vandalism earlier this month. They are also suspected of being connected to vandalism attacks at Ammunition Hill on Memorial Day and on memorials in the Jordan Valley.

The slogans, written in Hebrew, included “Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust,” “If Hitler did not exist, the Zionists would have invented him,” and “The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people.”

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev praised the quick and effective work of the police.

“I believe that it was important to know the identities of those who spray-painted the graffiti. The suspects are extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews, anti-Zionists, who are on the fringes of society, and do not represent the majority who respect the memory of the Holocaust,” Shalev said. “Numerous reactions that we received from Israel and around the world, expressing condemnation and repugnance of the graffiti testify that this warped action offended many, and I hope that the court will mete out justice to the criminals.”

The Neturei Karta is a group of Orthodox Jews that rejects Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, believing that a legitimate Israel can only be reestablished with the coming of the Messiah.

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