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Israel and Palestinian Territories in May 2023

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May 2, 2023

  1. We Will Not Allow Iran To Put Noose Of Terror Around Us: Netanyahu (Iran International). At the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the country’s security personnel are “working on this matter around the clock … and we will continue to act both offensively and defensively against the aggression of Iran and its terrorist satellites”.
  2.  Israel Got Intel on Iran’s Secret Nuclear Weapons Program from Executed Spy (Times of Israel). Russian intelligence reportedly helped Iran discover that a dual Iranian-British national who once served as its deputy minister of defense was leaking information about its top-secret nuclear weapons program… According to an in-depth New York Times report released on Monday, Akbari was a spy and began leaking Iranian atomic secrets to the British in 2004, keeping his activities hidden for 15 years.
  3.  McCarthy Extols Ties at Knesset, Vows Full Support for Israeli Security against Iran (Times of Israel). In later comments, he repeated his statement that he would invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington if US President Joe Biden refuses to do so. Still, he said such a visit would be conducted in a bipartisan manner, with meetings with Republicans and Democrats. “I expect the White House to invite the prime minister over for a meeting, especially because of Israel’s 75th anniversary,” said McCarthy following Biden’s recent comments that Netanyahu would not be receiving an invite to Washington in the near future.
  4.  Justice Minister Levin: Washington Aiding Israel’s Protesters against Judicial Reform (Jerusalem Post). The State Department has given over $38,000 since 2020 to the Movement for Quality Government, one of the leading groups in protests against Netanyahu in recent years, including this year’s round of demonstrations opposing judicial reform.

May 3, 2023

  1. Administrative Detention. A Systematic Israeli Policy Denies Palestinians the Reason for their Detention (Al Jazeera). Human rights organizations say that the “Israeli occupation” resorts to administrative detention to detain Palestinian civilians without a specific charge and trial, which deprives the prisoner and his lawyer of knowing the reasons for the arrest and often leads to the renewal of the administrative detention order against the detainees consecutive times. 
  2.  Arab League Condemns Israel over the Death of Palestinian Prisoner, Warns of Repercussions (Ahram Online). The Arab League on Tuesday held Israel responsible for the death of a Palestinian prisoner after he died of a hunger strike that lasted for 87 days, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
  3.  Ben Gvir Orders Raising the State of Alert in Prisons (Al Jazeera). The Palestinian Prisoners Club said – this morning, Tuesday – that the occupation authorities informed the captive movement of the death of the prisoner, Sheikh Khader Adnan, after a hunger strike that lasted 87 days, refusing to arrest him. In contrast, the Islamic Jihad movement to which the martyr belongs vowed to respond.
  4. At Least 32 Rockets were Shot at Israel on Tuesday, and 12 were Injured (Jerusalem Post). The first round of rockets started just hours after Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Khader Adnan died following a three-month-long hunger strike against being held in administrative detention. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad both took responsibility for the rocket fire.
  5. Sirens Blare in South as IDF Strikes Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire (Times of Israel). The Israeli Air Force carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night in response to 37 rocket launches from the Palestinian enclave in southern Israel earlier in the dayThe targets included a Hamas training camp; another base that housed a weapons production site, a concrete production plant, and a training site; a site belonging to the terror group’s naval commandos; and a tunnel used by Hamas in southern Gaza.
  6.  Anonymous Sudan Says it Hacked Israeli Rocket Alerts, Iron Dome Warning (Jerusalem Post). The hacker group said on its Telegram channel that it had succeeded in taking down the websites of the rocket warning services Cumta, Red Alert, Halamish, and Evigilo and targeting some of their smartphone apps. 
  7.  Israel, EU Reconcile, Agree to Hold Summit after Cohen-Borrell Meeting (Al-Monitor). At a meeting on Tuesday in Brussels, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell agreed to open a new page in Israel-EU relations and hold an Israel-EU association meeting by the end of the year, with Jerusalem being considered as the host.

May 4, 2023

  1. Netanyahu said he was Blocking Gallant from Visiting the US until He Gets an Invite (Times of Israel). Channel 12 news, citing an American and an Israeli source, said Netanyahu indicated to Gallant that he should not accept two invitations to Washington and New York for meetings with security officials.

May 5, 2023

  1. Ben-Gvir Threatens to Quit Israeli Government Over Response to Gaza Rockets (Jerusalem Post). The Otzma Yehudit Party will boycott Knesset votes until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implements a “fully right-wing policy” and enables its minister to influence the state’s national security policy, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said Wednesday.
  2. Israel’s Defense Chief: Iran Has Enough Uranium for Five Nuclear Bombs (Al-Monitor). On a visit to Athens on Thursday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his Greek counterpart Nikos Panagiotopoulos that Iran had enriched enough uranium for five nuclear bombs, warning that the Islamic Republic intends to continue the enrichment process.
  3. Iran’s Raisi Meets with Top Hamas and Islamic Jihad Officials in Syria, Urges Israel’s Defeat (Times of Israel). Damascus-based Palestinian official Khaled Abdul-Majid told the Associated Press that the delegation — which included top leaders from the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups — briefed Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi on the situation in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.
  4. Iran State News Outlet Spreads Antisemitic Propaganda on Social Media (Times of Israel). The outlet promotes the conspiracy that a secretive and powerful Jewish network acts behind the scenes to influence world affairs, a central tenet of antisemitic belief systems. Press TV refers to the shadowy network as a “Zionist movement,” the “Zionist regime,” a “Zionist network,” or the “Israel lobby.”
  5. Palestinian Economy Not Sustainable, Donor Parley Warns (Jerusalem Post). The Palestinian Authority’s economy is not sustainable, warned members of a donor parley that met in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday as foreign contributions continued to decline. “The discussions over the last two days have highlighted how serious the situation is on the ground,” said Norwegian Special Representative Hilde Haraldstad on Thursday after the two-day gathering of the biannual Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC).

May 8, 2023

  1. Shin Bet Releases Jordanian MP for Weapons Smuggling Trial at Home (Jerusalem Post). The agency said MP Imad Adwan attempted to smuggle 12 rifles and 194 guns in his car. The Jordanian media reported that the legislature voted to remove Adwan’s immunity on Sunday. According to the Shin Bet, Adwan exploited his diplomatic status and had been smuggling since February 2022 on 12 different occasions.
  2.  Hamas Warns Israel Ahead of Nationalist Flag March Through Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter (Times of Israel). Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanou said in a statement that Jerusalem “will remain the Palestinian capital” and that the Gaza-based group “will not allow the Zionist occupation to implement plans to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem through division…or flag parades.”

May 9, 2023

  1. IDF Bombs Gaza, Killing Top Islamic Jihad Terrorists; Southern Israel Girds for Reprisals  (Times of Israel). Explosions ripped through Gaza early Tuesday morning as Israeli forces assassinated three senior members of the Islamic Jihad terror group, days after a short-lived but fiery flareup of violence set the restive region on edge.
  2. EU Nixes Diplomatic Event over Ben Gvir Attendance to Avoid ‘Offering him Platform’ (Times of Israel). A day before it was to take place, the European Union said Monday that it was canceling a Europe Day diplomatic reception over National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s plans to attend the event and deliver an address.
  3. Lebanon Terror Groups Directed Bus Bombing Attempt in Israel – Shin Bet (Jerusalem Post). Six members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attempted Beitar Illit bus bombing on March 9. In addition, for allegedly planning a series of future explosive attacks, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Monday.

May 10, 2023

  1. Operation Shield and Arrow: Schools Closed, and Shelters Opened in Southern Israel (Jerusalem Post). The “Gust of Wind” program has been activated, enabling residents of communities near the Gaza Strip to stay in guest houses across the country during escalations… In addition, a series of restrictions have been placed on communities in southern Israel for Tuesday and Wednesday following the IDF assassination of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) officials in Gaza.
  2. Netanyahu: Israel is Prepared for a Multi-front War with Iran (Jerusalem Post). “It’s clear that 95% of Israel’s security problems come from Iran,” Netanyahu said… “My instruction to the IDF and security branches is to be prepared for a multi-front campaign…If we need to, we can do it.” Netanyahu also said that Israel will do all it can to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and try to prevent Iran from “establishing terror fronts around us.”
  3. 10 Civilians, Including 4 Children, Killed in IDF Strikes that Eliminated Palestinian Islamic Jihad Brass (Times of Israel). An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson told the foreign press, “We’re aware of some collateral, and we’ll learn more as the day goes.” Briefing Israeli reporters, IDF chief spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the army knew that civilians were killed in the airstrikes but insisted that “the operation was carried out with professionalism and precision in planning and execution.”
  4. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides to Leave Post This Summer (Axios). Nides announced his departure at a time when the Netanyahu government’s controversial judicial overhaul continues to complicate the U.S.-Israel relationship. In addition, President Biden still hasn’t invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House more than four months after the Israeli leader was sworn in

May 11, 2023

  1. Senior Official: Iran Directing Elements to Inflame Situation in Gaza (i24). Senior official says Israel expects escalation with Gaza to last two to three days. A senior official told i24NEWS that the current expectation in Israel is for two or three days of an escalation in the conflict with Gaza-based terror groups, but adds, “There is no indication of where this will develop.” Flights to Israel were briefly prevented from landing at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday because rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Tel Aviv. Aircraft were instructed to take a several-minute detour before landing safely at the airport.
  2. Massive Rocket Barrages Target Tel Aviv and South, Dampening Ceasefire Hopes (Times of Israel). Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group are nearing a deal to end over a day of fighting in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian media reported on Wednesday, as large rocket salvos on a wide swath of the country resumed after a brief pause.

May 12, 2023

  1. Egypt Intensifies Ceasefire Efforts, Sending Envoys to Israel (Jerusalem Post). Israel will only agree to an unconditional ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, diplomatic sources said, as an Egyptian delegation headed to Israel to continue to push for an end to Operation Shield and Arrow, a senior diplomatic source said.
  2. Security Official: Iran Attempting to Block Gaza Ceasefire (Ynet News). Seeing its investment of tens of millions of dollars in the PIJ go to waste, Tehran demands the fight continue, as is briefing the local press that any agreement would be a collaboration with Israel. In addition, officials in Israel say Iran is attempting to disrupt any ceasefire agreement by putting pressure on the terror group’s leadership currently in Lebanon.
  3. Deputy Commander of Islamic Jihad Rocket Force Killed in IDF, Shin Bet Op (i24). Ahmad Abu Daqa was the deputy commander of the Islamic Jihad’s rocket force and “took a significant part in commanding and carrying out the rocket barrages towards Israel” over the past day. 
  4. Over 800 Rockets Were Fired into Israel in 36 Hours (Jerusalem Post). Police confirmed one death in Rehovot after rocket fire.  According to IDF commander, Israel’s air defense is “ready for anything,” according to IDF commander.

May 15, 2023

  1. Gaza Conflict by The Numbers: 1,478 Islamic Jihad Rockets, 422 IDF Attacks (Jerusalem Post). According to IDF summary, The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down around 95% of those Islamic Jihad rockets which threatened Israelis, with over 430 shootdowns. In addition, 20% of Islamic Jihad rockets landed in Gaza, killing three Gazans and wounding dozens. Another critical aspect of the IDF’s strategy was successfully keeping Hamas out of the conflict. 
  2. FM Cohen Says Israel Offered PIJ Nothing Beyond Ceasefire (Times of Israel). Foreign minister insists Jerusalem didn’t agree to concessions as part of a deal to end Gaza fighting, says that controversial Flag March will go through Muslim Quarter as planned.
  3. Slapdash Attempt to Hack Rocket Sirens May Be Cause for Serious Alarm about Iran (Times of Israel). Hackers believed to be linked to Russia and Iran made unsuccessful attempts to sabotage Israeli rocket alert applications during a bout of violence with Gazan terrorists earlier this month, according to Telegram messages seen by The Times of Israel.

May 16, 2023

  1. Israeli Officials Visited Russia, Discussed Iran on Rare Trip (Al Monitor). Israel is trying to have it both ways by increasing its assistance to Ukraine while preserving its security ties with Russia… Israel’s Hayom newspaper first reported Friday on the May 3 visit to Moscow, the first such senior-level ministerial encounter since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022… The ministry noted that the encounter focused on strategic affairs, a term often used by Israeli diplomats when the Iranian file is discussed. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the parties held a comprehensive discussion on regional issues currently on the table of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Neither of the sides referred to the war in Ukraine. 
  2. Netanyahu Vows Contentious Jerusalem Flag March Will Again Go Through Muslim Quarter (The Times of Israel). National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has a history of ties to nationalist far-right groups, is expected to attend the rally this week. Last year, security services kept the then-MK away from the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City, a site of frequent conflict between Palestinians and Israeli police in the Muslim Quarter.
  3. Palestinians Remembered the Day of the Nakba in Light of the Raids and Arrests (Al Sharq Al Awsat). The day of the Palestinians on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba passed, as usual, in an atmosphere of Israeli incursions, confrontations, killings, and arrests, in light of the continuation of the tragedy, and stands and calls for an end to the historical injustice that those who lived through it did not forget, not even their children and grandchildren who inherited from their fathers the keys to their homes in the villages and towns displaced in 1948. They raised it high (Monday) confirming they did not give up their right to return.
  4. Lawmakers Scuffle in Knesset Over Municipal Tax Plan as Arab Communities Join Strike (The Times of Israel). Angry lawmakers sparred with each other on Monday in a volatile Knesset committee meeting over a controversial move to redistribute tax income between municipal authorities, with at least two participants forcibly ejected.
  5. King Charles Changes his Mother’s Approach and Decides to Make the First Royal Visit to Israel (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Senior political sources in Tel Aviv confirmed the news published in London that King Charles would make the first visit of a British Crown bearer to Israel. It revealed that President Isaac Herzog, who participated in the coronation ceremony of King Charles, last week, was the one who initiated the invitation for this visit.

May 17, 2023

  1. Israel Reveals Iran’s Secret Underground Drone Base (Iran Intl) An Israeli security think tank has uncovered a secret underground drone base of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). The location in the southwest of Iran was revealed Monday by Alma Center, a non-profit research organization that focuses on the security challenges on Israel’s northern borders. ACCORDING TO A VIDEO RELEASED BY ALMA, the UAV base is carved into the Zagros mountains near Shiraz, Fars province. The location is about 10km from Shiraz Airbase, which also houses the air force’s SU-24 jets of the 72nd tactical fighter squadron.
  2. Gaza: Dozens of Families Left Homeless by Israeli Air Strikes (Middle East Eye). Israel’s five-day bombing campaign destroyed 93 housing units in Gaza, partially damaged 1,820, and rendered 128 others uninhabitable.
  3. Palestinian Factions Threaten to Attack Israel on Jerusalem Day (i24). Ahead of the Jerusalem Day flag march set for Thursday, Arab media on Monday reported that Palestinian armed factions threatened Israel with a renewed “powerful campaign” days after a ceasefire ended the escalation between the Israeli military and Gaza’s Islamic Jihad terror group.
  4. Knesset Member Says 17 Million Official Documents Remain Classified, Unavailable to War Crimes Researchers (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Ayman Odeh, a member of the “Arab Front for Change” bloc and head of the Science and Technology Committee in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), revealed that state, military, and intelligence archives hold 17 million documents. Astonishingly, 97% of these are classified and remain inaccessible. Odeh emphasized that many military operations and massacres should be disclosed, even under Israeli law. However, he expressed concern that the authorities are exerting extensive efforts to maintain their secrecy.

May 18, 2023

  1. Israel Wins Nothing From Another Gaza Assault – But Netanyahu Might (Middle East Eye). The bombing campaign will not stop another confrontation from starting soon, but it could give Netanyahu a political lifeline…Polls released by major Israeli channels after the ceasefire, which was signed on Saturday night, prove beyond doubt the operation achieved its main goal from the government’s perspective: the popularity of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition was on the rise.
  2. Greek-Israel Military Relations Increase with New Training Aircraft (Jerusalem Post). Israel and Greece continued to elevate their military relations on Wednesday with Jerusalem delivering two critical M-346 advanced training aircraft at a special event involving top Greek security officials, IDF Air Force chief Maj.-Gen. Tomer Bar, top Israeli Defense Ministry officials and officials from Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems has been contracted by Greece both to provide virtual avionics for the M-346 aircraft and to create an International Flight Training Center.
  3. U.S. Wants Closer Saudi-Israeli Ties by the End of 2023 (i24). The report comes after the U.S. Ambassador to Israel told i24NEWS that Israeli-Saudi normalization was ‘hugely important’ for Washington…Washinton intends to conduct a diplomatic offensive in the next six months to bring Israel and Saudi Arabia closer together, Israeli media cited two U.S. officials as saying on Wednesday…the White House will try to push for a normalization agreement between the two states by the end of 2023, before the presidential campaign occupies U.S President Joe Biden’s agenda.
  4. Tel Aviv Pressing Egypt Not to Repair Ties with Iran (Tehran Times). Israeli delegates are covertly traveling to Cairo and attempting to persuade the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi not to take similar steps to reestablish ties with Tehran amid regional reconciliation, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.
  5. Tensions between Israel and Russia: The Main Factor – Iran (N12). The relationship between the two nations has also soured due to Israel’s support for Ukraine. Israeli authorities are perturbed by Russia’s intention to transfer nuclear technologies to Iran and are attempting to halt this action. Concurrently, Russia has halted efforts to assist Israel in locating missing IDF personnel in Syria

May 19, 2023

  1. Israel Signs its First Sale of Artillery Systems to the Netherlands (Times Of Israel). The European country will buy 20 PULS weapons produced by Elbit; Yoav Gallant says the deal ‘strengthens ties, improves Israel’s standing in the world’
  2. Israeli Ministers and Knesset Members Lead Extremists in Al-Aqsa and “Flags March” (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Israeli extremists escalated tensions to an unprecedented level on “Jerusalem Day,” a day marking the “unification” of the city, referring to the occupation of its eastern part in June 1967. The day saw ministers and Knesset members engage in a mass intrusion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Concurrently, a vast flag march commenced with thousands of participants starting in the early morning. These individuals, scattered across the city and the Old City, carried Israeli flags and performed dances in a manner seen as provocative.
  3. Netanyahu says he made sure Flag March went ahead ‘because of the threats’ (Times of Israel). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that he made sure the Flag March in the Old City of Jerusalem today went ahead to send a message that Israel would not back down due to threats. “Despite the threats, and I’ll tell you, because of the threats, I instructed to hold the Flag March with its many participants on its original path,” Netanyahu said at an event in Ammunition Hill marking Jerusalem Day. Netanyahu said that the recent conflict with Gaza sent a message “not just to them, but to other places in the region, who are looking at the impressive operational abilities of the State of Israel.”

May 20, 2023

  1. Democrats Introduce Bill for Report on Shireen Abu Akleh’s Killing (The National News). Democratic US politicians on Thursday reintroduced a bill for a congressional report into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist who was killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank a year ago.
  2. US and UN Condemn Anti-Arab Chants at Nationalist Israeli March (The National News). ON FRIDAY, the US and the UN condemned anti-Arab slogans, such as “death to Arabs” and “may your villages burn,” chanted by far-right Israelis at a nationalist rally.

May 21, 2023

  1. Israelis Keep up Protests against Judicial Reforms (Al Monitor). Israeli protesters thronged the heart of Tel Aviv Saturday for a 20th straight week, keeping up their campaign against the hard-right government’s controversial judicial reform plans which they view as a threat to democracy.
  2. Ben-Gvir Storms Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, Says Israel ‘Is In Charge Here’ in Latest Provocation (New Arab). Israel’s extreme-right security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stormed Jerusalem’s sacred al-Aqsa mosque compound early on Sunday, The New Arab’s Arabic language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported, citing a source from the Islamic Waqf Department in Jerusalem.
  3. Saudi Arabia Condemns Israeli Official’s Storming Of Al-Aqsa Mosque (Al Sharq al Awsat). In a statement, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that these systematic practices are a flagrant violation of all international norms and covenants and a provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world, and the ministry holds the Israeli occupation forces fully responsible for the repercussions of the continuation of these abuses.
  4. Netanyahu Meets With His Government in a Tunnel Under Al-Aqsa Amid Palestinian Warnings Against Igniting A Religious War (Al Jazeera). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with members of his government in a tunnel under the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a few hours after one of his ministers stormed the courtyards of the Noble Mosque, which sparked widespread Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic condemnation.

May 23, 2023

  1. Ben-Gvir:  We are Making Changes on the Temple Mount Slowly, Quietly (Jerusalem Post). National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stated that the government was making changes on the Temple Mount “slowly and quietly” during a Sunday festive meal for Jerusalem Day the Temple Mount Administration.
  2. Defense Ministry to Invest Heavily in AI in Bid To Improve Intel on Iran (Times of Israel). On Monday, Defense Ministry Director Eyal Zamir hinted that Iran would be the primary focus of Israel’s military force design in the coming years, announcing the ministry’s new “Depth Multi-Year Plan.”
  3. As Inflation Persists, Bank of Israel Hikes Interest Rates to 4.75% (Times Of Israel). The Bank of Israel on Monday raised its benchmark interest rate for a tenth consecutive time, lifting borrowing costs by 25 basis points to 4.75% as it struggles to tamper with inflation growth in recent months.

May 24, 2023

  1. At Last, Israel’s Netanyahu Gets An Invite to Visit UAE For COP28 (Al Monitor). But, unfortunately, the Israeli leader may have to wait until November, for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, for his first public visit to the Emirates.
  2. Israel Army Demolishes West Bank Home of Palestinian Shooter’s Family (New Arab). On Tuesday, Israeli troops demolished the West Bank family home of a Palestinian who was killed after allegedly carrying out a deadly shooting in the heart of Tel Aviv in March.
  3. IDF Chief on Iran Nuke Program: ‘Negative Developments’ Could Prompt Israeli Response (Times of Israel). Military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi warned Tuesday of potential “negative developments” regarding Iran’s nuclear program that would cause Israel to react. “Iran has made more progress in uranium enrichment than ever before. We are also closely examining other aspects of the [Iranians’] path to nuclear capability,” he said at a conference hosted by the Institute for Policy and Strategy of Reichman University in Herzliya.

May 25, 2023

  1. Iran Suspected in Cyberattack Targeting Israeli Shipping, Financial Firms (Al-Monitor). On Tuesday, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm said several Israeli companies sustained a cyberattack that Iran likely orchestrated.
  2. U.S., Saudis List Conditions for Riyadh’s Normalization with Israel (i24). The U.S. allegedly wants Israel to halt the judicial reform and resume peace talks with the Palestinians in exchange for brokering the long-desired normalization deal with Saudi Arabia… The Saudis also present their conditions, demanding that Washington sign a bilateral defense treaty, unfreeze the weapons deals halted by the current administration, and approve Riyadh’s civilian nuclear program. 
  3. It is Back. Netanyahu Turns to Judicial Overhaul (Ynet News). Prime minister says judicial reform legislation is back on the agenda after approval of budget gives Israeli government stability; He says he hopes compromise talks are successful but will press ahead with the overhaul no matter what; Gantz calls him power drunk.
  4. Hamas Upholds Executions Against Three Palestinian ‘Collaborators’ in Gaza (Al-monitor). On Tuesday, a military court affiliated with the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip upheld the death sentences against three Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel.

May 26, 2023

  1. IDF Downs Drone Crossing Into Israel from Lebanon (i24). The IDF monitored the drone throughout the incident, and security forces said that any further attempt would be thwarted as they continued to prevent violations of Israeli sovereignty.
  2. Netanyahu Will Reportedly Seek Changes to Legal System if Overhaul Talks Fail (Times of Israel). Rather than working to ensure the government has control over the Judicial Appointments Committee, a crucial part of the government’s overhaul plans, a senior official told Channel 13 on Wednesday that Netanyahu will instead focus his attention on the two offices that play an essential role in deciding what criminal cases are opened.
  3. New Israeli Poll Leaves Both Blocs Unable to Form Majority Government (Jerusalem Post). A new poll published Thursday found that both the coalition and the opposition would be unable to form a majority government if elections were held today. According to the poll conducted by Panels Politics for Maariv, both the National Unity Party and the Likud would earn 27 seats each, while Yesh Atid would earn 18 seats, Shas would earn nine seats, United Torah Judaism would earn seven seats and the Religious Zionist Party, Hadash-Ta’al and Yisrael Beytenu would earn six seats each. Meanwhile, Otzma Yehudit and Meretz would earn five seats each, and Ra’am would earn four seats.
  4. Azerbaijan Says It Will Not Allow Israel to Attack Iran from its Territory (Tasnim News). The Republic of Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fariz Rzayev, said in an interview with Israeli media that Azerbaijan would not permit the Tel Aviv regime to launch an attack on Iran from its territory.

May 29, 2023

  1. Iran, Taliban Exchange Heavy Fire Amid Water Dispute Clashes Erupt at the Iran-Afghanistan Border; One Iranian Killed (Iran International). An exchange of gunfire took place Saturday on the border between Iran and Afghanistan as tensions over water rights between the two nations escalated.
  2. At Least Three Killed In Clash Between Iran and the Taliban (Iran International). Two Iranian border guards and one Taliban fighter were killed after a shooting broke out near a border post on Saturday… It was not immediately clear what had provoked the incident, in which several people were also injured, but it came amid tensions over water rights.
  3. After the Border Clashes, a Taliban Leader Threatens Iran: “Do Not Test Our Patience” (Al Arabiya). A leader in the Taliban movement escalated his attack on Iran by saying: “If the sheiks of the Islamic Emirate allow the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate will occupy Iran within 24 hours. So we say to Iran, do not test our strength.”
  4. Iran’s Foreign Minister Calls for Inclusive Government in Afghanistan (Tasnim News). Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian emphasized the need to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan and stated that Iran does not recognize the nature of the current ruling power.

May 30, 2023

  1. UN Accuses Israel of Recruiting Palestinian Child Soldiers (Jerusalem Post). Israel said the UN claims were false and pushed back against the draft report, which Israel said was downplaying Palestinian terrorism. A draft of the UN’s Children and Armed Conflict report for 2023 accused Israel of recruiting minors as human shields and combatants.
  2. Israel Inks Three Transportation Deals Boosting Links with Morocco (Times of Israel). The agreements will allow Israeli driver’s licenses to be used on the roads in Morocco, encourage direct shipping between the two countries, and facilitate exchanges related to road safety and transportation innovation.
  3. Attorney General Decides Mediation in Netanyahu Criminal Trial (Times of Israel). Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara says she opposes a mediation process for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal trial. Baharav-Miara announces her opinion to Netanyahu’s legal defense team.
  4.  What Do Turkiye’s Election Results Mean for Israel? – analysis (The Jerusalem Post). Turkey and Israel are not similar, but there are commonalities between the historical trajectories of the countries. Among these trajectories is that early Zionist leaders such as David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi studied in Istanbul in the early 20th century. They saw firsthand the modern Turkish nationalist movement, which has commonalities with Zionism.

May 31, 2023

  1. Israeli shot Dead at the Entrance to West Bank Settlement (New Arab). The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility for the killing of an Israeli on Tuesday in the occupied West Bank…Medics and military officials said an Israeli civilian was shot dead Tuesday at the entrance to an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
  2. In Baku, Azerbaijan’s President Thanks Herzog for Israeli Arms Supply (Times Of Israel). President Isaac Herzog stressed on Tuesday the threat that Iran poses to regional stability in his meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, in Baku. In his public remarks after the meeting, Herzog said the two spoke in depth about the entire global and regional security structure that is endangered and threatened by Iran.
  3. Israel Quickly Congratulates Turkey’s Erdogan, Expects a Boost in Ties (Al Monitor). The phone calls of President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reelected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reflect Israel’s hope for preserving and expanding rehabilitated bilateral ties.

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