Israeli minister calls for eliminating ‘terrorists’ sending arson balloons from Gaza

Israeli firefighters extinguish a fire in a wheat field caused from kites flown by Palestinian protesters, near the border with the Gaza Strip, May 30, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli firefighters extinguish a fire in a wheat field caused from kites flown by Palestinian protesters, near the border with the Gaza Strip, May 30, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel should not have acted with restraint in the face of hundreds of kites and balloons carrying incendiary materials launched from Gaza, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday.

Bennett, the leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, said Israel’s reluctance to go after those launching the kites, many of whom are children, allowed the problem to grow unacceptably large. [Read more…]

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Trump aide and Israeli army warn of war as Gaza missiles fly

A car in Sderot damaged by a rocket fired from Gaza on Aug. 9, 2018. (Courtesy/The Israel Project)

A car in Sderot damaged by a rocket fired from Gaza on Aug. 9, 2018. (Courtesy/The Israel Project)

(JTA) – After firing more than 180 rockets into civilian areas, armed terror groups in Gaza said Thursday afternoon that they would refrain from firing on southern Israel if Israel also maintains the calm.

Shortly after the announcement, however, more rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel. Code Red rocket alert sirens were sounded as far away from the Gaza border as Beersheba, the first time that sirens have gone off in the city since the 2014 Gaza War. At least two rockets exploded in open areas near Beersheba. [Read more…]

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Israel closes Gaza crossing to fuel shipments in response to arson balloons

Israeli fire fighters and soldiers attempting to extinguish a fire in a wheat field next to the border with Gaza, May 15, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli fire fighters and soldiers attempting to extinguish a fire in a wheat field next to the border with Gaza, May 15, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israel froze fuel and gas shipments into Gaza through the main border crossing with Gaza over the continued arson kite and balloon attacks on southern Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman issued the order for the Kerem Shalom crossing on Wednesday after the flying firebombs sparked seven fires. Food, medicine and humanitarian aid will still be permitted to pass into Gaza. The crossing will be closed “until further notice,” Liberman said. [Read more…]

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Israel to expand settlement in response to deadly stabbing

Israeli security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam, July 26, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israeli security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam, July 26, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israeli security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam, July 26, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

(JTA) – Israel said it will build hundreds of new homes in a settlement where a Palestinian teenager killed an Israeli and wounded two others in a knife attack Thursday.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took to Twitter Friday to announce 400 new housing units in the Adam settlement north of Jerusalem. [Read more…]

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Israel partially reopens main Gaza crossing after easing of fire balloons

A firefighter extinguishing a blaze in the Beeri Forest on the Israeli border with Gaza, where flaming kites sent from Gaza have caused thousands of shekels of damage, June 11, 2018. (Sam Sokol)

A firefighter extinguishing a blaze in the Beeri Forest on the Israeli border with Gaza, where flaming kites sent from Gaza have caused thousands of shekels of damage, June 11, 2018. (Sam Sokol)

(JTA) – Israel partially reopened its main crossing with Gaza after closing the junction in response to repeated arson attacks from incendiary kites and balloons coming from the coastal strip.

Israel had closed the Kerem Shalom crossing on July 9 to everything but food, medical supplies and fuel. Last week Israel also stopped allowing fuel. [Read more…]

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Israel, seeking total withdrawal, rejects Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria 60 miles away

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel rejected a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria some 60 miles from the border with Israel.

Instead, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Iran leave the country completely, an unnamed senior Israeli official told reporters on Monday following a meeting in Jerusalem between Netanyahu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. [Read more…]

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Israel to close main crossing with Gaza over flying firebombs

Rafi Babiyan, security officer for the Sdot Negev Regional Council, holding a kite and incendiary devices that landed in Israeli fields near the Gaza border, June 11, 2018. (Sam Sokol)

Rafi Babiyan, security officer for the Sdot Negev Regional Council, holding a kite and incendiary devices that landed in Israeli fields near the Gaza border, June 11, 2018. (Sam Sokol)

(JTA) – Israel will close the main crossing between Israel and Gaza in response to repeated arson attacks from incendiary kites and balloons coming from the coastal strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision announced Monday to close the Kerem Shalom crossing was taken in agreement with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. [Read more…]

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Iran reportedly fires missiles at Israel, and Israel strikes back in Syria

Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Israeli tanks seen near the Israeli-Syrian border, May 10, 2018. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Iranian troops reportedly fired a barrage of 20 missiles at Israel, and Israel responded by bombing Iranian military targets in Syria.

The missiles were launched from Syria early Thursday morning. None of them hit Israel. Israel’s missile defence system intercepted four of them, and the rest landed in Syrian territory, according to Israeli news reports. No Israelis were hurt in the attack. [Read more…]

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Israel will have to pay ‘a price’ for U.S. Embassy move, says Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. on December 2 2016.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. on December 2 2016.

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said his country will have to pay “a price” for the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

“There is no free lunch,” Liberman told Israel Channel 2’s Saturday night program “Meet the Press.” He added that “the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will come at a price and it is worth paying it. We should welcome, and be prepared, to pay a price.” [Read more…]

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Israeli defense minister bans chief rabbi from military ceremonies

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attending a conference in the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel, Jan. 13, 2016. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A meeting between Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi and the Israeli army’s chief rabbi was cancelled after the defense minister banned the chief rabbi from military ceremonies.

On Saturday, Avigdor Liberman banned Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and two other rabbis from the military events after they criticized the Israel Defense Forces mixed-gender units. The meeting scheduled for Monday was canceled a day earlier. [Read more…]

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