Thousands of police deployed ahead of Pence’s visit to Israel Sunday
Israel braced for U.S.Vice President Mike Pence’s two-day visit (21st-23rd), with thousands of police officers taking part in special security operations and residents preparing for wide-scale traffic disruptions, particularly in Jerusalem.
Security operations will be in all areas where the Vice President is visiting – the measures will continue until Tuesday (23rd).
Pence arrives in Israel
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel Sunday evening (21st), in the third stop of his Middle East visit, after having met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Pence’s visit to Israel is planned to last less than 48-hours, during which he will address the Knesset, meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Visit Yad Vashem and the Western Wall.
Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin received Pence on behalf of the Israeli government.
“I congratulate you on your arrival in Israel and thank you for your important part in the president’s declaration and in the recognition of Jerusalem as our capital,” he said. “We greatly appreciate the strong friendship between the two countries and I am convinced that your wife Karen and you will feel at home here.”
Jordan’s king says east Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestinian state
Jordan’s King Abdullah expressed concerned on Sunday (21st) over the decision by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying east Jerusalem has to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
In remarks during talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Amman, the king said the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state one.
Jordan lost east Jerusalem and the West Bank to Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Hamas: Mike Pence’s visit to the region unwelcomed
The Spokesman of Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum stated the following on Saturday (20th):
“The American Vice President’s visit to the region is not welcomed. There is no justification to meet with Mike Pence at any level especially after his recent statements in which he totally dismissed Jerusalem and recognized it as the eternal capital of the Israeli Occupation.”
“Hamas is keen to foil all the American and Israeli schemes that target the Palestinian people’s rights and will call on all pro-Palestinian nations and groups to continue their efforts to express refusal of the American interference in the region and the American/Israeli plots.”
“We hail the unique steadfastness of our people and the peoples of the free world in facing these American plans.”
Gaza family kills relative after Hamas says he spied for Israel
A Palestinian family in Gaza has killed one of its members after Hamas accused him of aiding Israel in the killing of three of the terror group’s commanders.
The family said in a statement that a relative shot Ahmed Barhoum Friday (19th) but did not say which family member pulled the trigger.
According to the statement, the family followed developments in the Hamas investigation and believed Barhoum was guilty.
Nasrallah warns Israel against continued construction of border wall
Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has warned Israel against continued construction of a wall along its border with Lebanon, after Beirut said the project was undermining peace.
“After liberating the Lebanese occupied territories from the Zionist enemy in 2000, the UN demarcation of the national border with the Palestinian territories left 13 controversial positions, and the Lebanese government informed the UNIFIL about its rejection for any Israeli measures in this concern,” Nasrallah was quoted by Hizbullah website al-Manar as saying.
On Friday (19th), Lebanese President Michel Aoun met in Beirut with UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Maj. Gen Michael Beary and stressed that a border fence within the demarcated Blue Line “isn’t compatible with the efforts that UNIFIL is exerting in cooperation with the Lebanese Army to preserve security and stability along the southern border.”
Meanwhile, the IDF told the Jerusalem Post that the work on the wall is continuing as normal.
Global anti-semitism report points to Muslim immigrants as ‘risk factors’
The influx of refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries into Europe has caused a spike in anti-Semitic backlash against Israel, a Diaspora Affairs Ministry report on global anti-Semitism stated Sunday (21st).
Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett presented the report’s findings at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning (21st). The ministry regularly compiles a report on worldwide anti-Semitism ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be marked on Saturday (27th).
The report pointed to Muslim immigrants to Europe as “a major risk factor to the Jewish communities of western Europe,” saying that over half of all immigrants in western Europe hold anti-Semitic views.
Northern Israel painted white with heavy snowfall
Saturday’s (20th) weather drew many Israelis to various nature reserves, after Friday’s (19th) storm filled streams to the brim and blanketed Mount Hermon in white.
Hundreds arrived in the north to observe impressive water flows in the Banias and Nahal Ayun. others chose to visit Hula Lake to watch tens of thousands of cranes perched on the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon. The water also flooded the streams in the south of the country, and many reached Nahal Arugot to see it at its liveliest.
In the past few weeks, meteorological services reported that Israel was entering its fifth year of drought – however, January figures have brought about a slight change in the trend.
Jerusalem’s New British-born deputy mayor targets “false narrative” on Israel – Joe Wallen
Born in London and raised in Gibraltar, Fleur Hassan Nahoum, 44, has been named as the new deputy mayor of Jerusalem. Her father Sir Joshua Hassan, was the Chief Minister in Gibraltar for over 20 years.
Hassan-Nahoum embraces the recent recognition given by President Donald Trump when affirming Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state. “Absolutely, we welcomed it, even if it does nothing more than confirm a reality which already exists on the ground. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, always has been.”
She says people around the world believe a “false narrative” propped up by the media of “a brutal genocidal Israeli apartheid rule.” She insists it is in fact the Palestinians who “time and again, when they are at a crossroads of peace or war, have chosen the path of war. I will never understand how the liberal public in Europe have so blindly accepted the rhetoric from misogynist, homophobic and genocidal groups in Palestine without question.”
New Israeli paint transforms sun’s rays into air-conditioning – Abigail Klein Leichman
Israeli high-tech paint SolCold doesn’t just protect surfaces from sun, but actually uses the sun’s power to activate a cooling mechanism, effectively providing air conditioning without electricity. The coating absorbs the hot rays of the sun and re-emits that energy in the form of cold.
The hotter the solar radiation, the more the coating cools down, making SolCold paint an electricity-free solution for intensely sunny climates such as Africa, and Central and South America. SolCold is generating interest for coating anything from chicken coops to cargo ships, malls to stadiums, cars to planes, satellites to hothouses, and military equipment to apartment houses.