European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 11.03.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 11.03.2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel to let Gazan leave the West Bank

Israel will permit residents of the Gaza Strip to go abroad via the Allenby border crossing with Jordan, on condition that they do not return the same way for at least a year, Ha’aretz reports.

This is in addition to the weekly quota of up to 100 exit permits via Allenby that are given to people who fall under the categories of needing special medical treatment, attending special conferences and students pursuing advanced degrees abroad, according to a public document from the office of the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories.

This marks a change in a policy of almost 20 years. Since 1997, Israel has not permitted Gazans to travel abroad and return via the Allenby border crossing, i.e., through Israeli territory and the West Bank, with very few exceptions.

Thus, the Rafah border crossing had become the only departure gate for Gazans to go abroad. Theoretically, Israel is now increasing the number of Gazans who will be able to travel abroad. On the other hand, the condition that one must remain outside the country for at least a year is a strong deterrent, since there is hardly any possibility of returning via Egypt.

Since July 2013, Egypt has kept the Rafah border crossing mostly closed, cutting off Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants from the world. 

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Terrorist’s family deported from Jerusalem to West Bank

Israel denied residency and transferred to the West Bank family members of a Palestinian terrorist who recently shot two Israeli police officers, the Public Security Ministry confirmed on Thursday. 

Immediately following the attack, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan instructed the police to investigate the legal status of the family of the 21-year-old terrorist Fouad Abu Rajab who shot and wounded two police officers in Jerusalem on Wednesday and was subsequently killed during an exchange of fire with Israeli forces, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The investigation conducted by police revealed that the family of the terrorist had filed for residency status but it had not yet been approved. Rajab's father and sister and Rajab himself did not have any legal resident status and were therefore considered to be living illegally in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya.

"My instructions to the police were clear: Whoever is here illegally will be deported," said Erdan. 

"We will continue to fight terrorism on all fronts with full force and those who support, finance or help terrorism will pay a high price," he added.

The five family members, Abu Rajab's mother and four siblings, ranging in age from 14 to 19, were reportedly transported to the Kalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Ahava to relocate from West Bank into Israel

Ahava, the Dead Sea cosmetics company that has been a major target of BDS for maintaining a manufacturing plant in the West Bank settlement of Mitzpeh Shalem, will be relocating the facility within Israel's pre-1967 borders, Ha’aretz reports.

The new site, further down the Dead Sea shore, is adjacent to Kibbutz Ein Gedi and is owned by the kibbutz. The new plant is slated to be more advanced and will also include a visitors' centre.

In 2011, Ahava was forced to close its London store in Covent Garden after months of noisy demonstrations by pro-Palestinian groups. In moving facilities inside Israel proper and out of the West Bank, Ahava is following the lead of SodaStream, the carbonated beverage dispenser manufacturer, which relocated last year from the West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Adumim to the Negev. The move followed an aggressive campaign against SodaStream by the BDS movement abroad.

Among the other big Israeli exporters to transfer their West Bank operations in recent years are the Barkan winemaker, the Bagel-Bagel pretzel company and the Swedish-owned Mul-T-Lock lock manufacturer.

Ahava issued a statement saying in part: "In light of expanding production needs due the success in marketing Ahava products around the world and expected changes in cosmetic product manufacturing standards in certain Western countries, Ahava will establish an additional plant at Kibbutz Ein Gedi." The statement did not explicitly confirm that the plant at Mitzpeh Shalem will be closing, but that is understood to be the case.

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Culture Minister to double budget for Arab sector

Culture Minister Miri Regev announced on Thursday that she is to double the cultural budget for the Arab sector in Israel for the next five years, the Times of Israel reports.

According to a concurrent statement from the ministry, the Arab sector is set to receive an annual budgetary allocation of NIS 20 million as part of a five-year master plan for the promotion and integration of the Arab community in Israel.

Regev unveiled the budget increase at a meeting at the Federation of Local Authorities attended by dozens of Arab local authority leaders.

Aside from the annual NIS 20 million allocation, Regev said “significant” additional funds earmarked for the Arab community will be dispersed in local municipalities throughout the country.

During the meeting, the Arab municipality heads spoke of the sector’s financial plight, and voiced their concern that the rising levels of violence within the community are connected to its low economic standing.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, March 11, 2016
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