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Tue. Sep 13, 2016 News from Israel

  • Shimon Peres rushed to hospital after stroke
  • Three Syrian mortars land in Golan Heights: IDF denies that drone was shot down by Syrians
  • Ofek 11 satellite launched successfully after Amos 6 calamity

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday after not feeling well. It was reported that he suffered a stroke. His office stated that he was stable and fully conscious. Only hours earlier, Peres posted a video on Facebook urging Israelis to buy Israeli products

Within less than an hour, 3 mortar shells landed Tuesday evening in the Golan Heights. According to the IDF, it appears that the firing was unintentional. The IDF explained that the large presence of the Israeli army on the northern border was due to a military exercise.

The IDF denied claims that Syria shot down an Israeli Air Force drone with an anti-aircraft missile. Syria stated that they shot down the drone when the Israeli aircraft attacked military targets in Syria. The IDF did confirm that it struck Syrian targets after Syrian missiles erringly landed in Israeli territory in the Golan Heights.  Although Syria did shoot at Israeli planes, the IDF stated that the Syrian missiles were launched long after Israeli planes were in the area. As Syrian forces battle local resistance to President Basher Assad's regime, mortar shells often unintentionally hit the Israeli side of the border. Local residents of the Golan Heights asked the Israeli government to see this unintentional firing into Israel as intentional and to react accordingly.

Colonel Lior Lotan, who oversees all hostages and missing persons cases at the Prime Minister’s Office, stated that Hamas rejected Israeli offers to return Israeli citizens and the bodies of soldiers held by the terrorist organization in exchange for all prisoners and bodies of those Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas is currently holding Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two Israelis who crossed the border into Gaza, as well as the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. The parents of Hadar Goldin are scheduled to appear in the UN to ask for help in returning their son’s body. They held a press conference in which they criticized Israeli ministers who are not cooperating with Israel’s efforts to return their son. They called for Israel to apply as much pressure as possible on Hamas until their son’s body is returned for burial in Israel. Simha Goldin, Hadar’s father stated, “We are going to the UN because Hadar was taken during a cease fire. The UN supported this ceasefire; therefore we hold them responsible for Hamas’ actions. An international organization which does not stand behind the agreements they sign loses all moral justifications.”

Two weeks after the Israeli communications satellite Amos 6 was destroyed in a blast in California, the Defense ministry announced the successful launch of Ofek 11. Ofek 11 is currently the most advanced satellite for gathering intelligence. The Defense Ministry is waiting for the first signal to be broadcast from the satellite back to earth.

Following charges of accepting bribes, Netanya’s mayor, Miriam Feirberg was placed under house arrest for two weeks.  She is also forbidden to go to the municipality building in Netanya for the next two months.  The police claimed that she had fabricated evidence. Feirberg denies all charges.

The military aid agreement between the US and Israel is expected to be signed on Tuesday or Wednesday. Yaakov Nagel, the acting head of the Israeli National Security Council, secretly left Israel for the US in order to sign the military aid agreement. According to the agreement, Israel will receive 38 billion dollars from the US over the next decade. One of the conditions is that Israel cannot ask for any additional aid beyond the sum in the agreement.

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