European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 12.05.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 12.05.2016

Major Headlines
  • Beaches, barbecues and fly-bys mark Israel’s Independence Day

At dawn on Thursday, the morning of Israel’s 68th Independence Day, Israel’s city streets lay quiet, a stark change from the all-night celebrations that dominated the country’s major city centres late on Wednesday, the Times of Israel reports.

Tens of thousands spent the night on the beaches of the Sea of Galilee, which local authorities said were filled to overflowing overnight with revellers who planned to hold the traditional Independence Day barbecues on the crowded beaches the following morning.

In Ashdod, Beersheba, Jerusalem, Haifa and other major cities, famous and not so famous performers entertained crowds through the night.

In Ramat Gan, 12 different stages throughout the city saw performances that lasted into the morning. The city estimated that some 60,000 people took part in the street celebrations.

Fireworks shows, including the largest one held on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, lit up the skies.

Thursday’s daytime celebrations were to officially begin with a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. VIPs and political leaders were to be in attendance, and the president was to award the army’s annual citations for distinguished service to deserving soldiers.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Israel remembers victims of terrorism

The annual state memorial service for victims of terror attacks took place at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the ceremony, but his speech was interrupted. Rami Cohen, who was injured in a terrorist attack in 2001 and whose brother, Tzvika Cohen, was injured in the current wave of terrorism in an attack at a Ma'ale Adumim mall, stood and yelled at the prime minister.

"Two years ago, I protested releasing terrorists," Cohen said, referring to his having interrupted the same ceremony two years previously. "You told me that it was a very difficult decision. I believe you. But two months ago, a terrorist smashed my brother's skull, and my own wounds have not yet healed. We are again acting indulgently, and we don't know how to cope." 

The prime minister replied to him before continuing his prepared speech, "I understand you, because we're of the same family."

Natan Meir, who lost his wife, Dafna, in a terrorist attack in Otniel, spoke on behalf of the families. He said, "Our slain had something in common: All of them chose life."

Since the end of Israel’s War of Independence, 2,576 civilians have been killed in terror attacks, with 29 people killed and 379 wounded in the recent wave of terror attacks since September 2015.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • West Bank sealed off for Memorial and Independence days

Israel closed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 48 hours beginning midnight Tuesday-Wednesday, the Times of Israel reports.

The closure began at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday and is expected to end at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, the army said, though the reopening will be subjected to a “situational assessment.”

Entering and exiting the West Bank and Gaza Strip was forbidden for Palestinians during these two days, with the exception of “humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases,” according to an IDF statement.

Last month, the army imposed a similar shutdown on the West Bank’s checkpoints for Palestinians ahead of the Passover festival, for fear of terror attacks.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Thursday, May 12, 2016
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