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Israel Prepares for Escalation in North and South

ICEJ News Briefs

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10 Jul 2018 (All day)
Israel Prepares for Escalation in North and South
In light of the ongoing arson attacks using incendiary devices attached to kites and balloons sent into Israeli territory from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Monday that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be closed and more steps would be announced in the near future. “We intend to immediately wield a heavy hand against Hamas,” Netanyahu told the Likud faction meeting. A Hamas statement in response declared that “the occupying government’s endorsement of new measures to tighten the siege of the Gaza Strip is a crime that must be addressed immediately.”

These videos show aspects of the arson terrorism suffered by residents of the Gaza border region





Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited the Golan Heights Tuesday morning, warning that "the Iranian presence in Syria is unreasonable, and we are not prepared to accept an Iranian presence in Syria anywhere, and as you have heard more than once, we will act against any Iranian consolidation in Syria. The moment we identify an Iranian presence, we will act.” Turning to the issue of refugees, he added “We toured the border and saw the tents of the Syrian refugees. We are ready to grant any humanitarian assistance but we are not willing to accept any refugee in our territory.”

Knesset Set to De-Criminalize Recreational Cannabis Use
Israel’s Knesset was set to pass a law this week de-criminalizing the recreational use of cannabis, instead imposing steep fines for the first three times a citizen is caught using it, without opening a criminal file. The new law, which does not cover cannabis use by minors, soldiers, prisoners and previous criminal offenders, was encouraged by advocates who cited the heavy burden on Israel’s criminal justice system for relatively minor and non-violent offenses involving cannabis as well as the long-term damage to a citizens quality of life from acquiring a criminal record through such incidents.

Official Laments Low Level of Earthquake Preparedness
Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction Jackie Levy told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that there are as many as 80,000 buildings in Israel which are not prepared to withstand the effects of a strong earthquake such as the country experienced in 1927. “There are many old structures that will simply collapse like a tower of cards during an earthquake,” Levy said. In related news, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira issued a report this week showing that nearly 550,000 Arab and Bedouin citizens in the North and South of the country live, work and go to school in structures that have no protection from the threat of rockets. Overall, nearly 1 in 4 Israelis lack access to a bomb shelter in their place of residence, work or education.

Israel Sends Disaster-Relief Teams to Japan
Amidst catastrophic storms and floods in Japan, the Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID deployed teams of rescue workers, psychological support specialists and emergency supplies to the country on Monday. Yotam Polizer, IsraAID's co-CEO, said, “The Japanese people are some of the most resilient and inspiring people we have ever worked with. We are proud of our Japanese team and will continue to support the affected communities as long as needed.”

Today’s video gives a beautiful mosaic of the Holy Land