Israel Roundup: Iron Dome Shoots Down Rockets, Russia Shoots Down Issachar Appeal

  • Israel, in return for Hamas aggression, has limited the fishing rights surrounding Gaza.
  • Primaries are scheduled for Likud next week, which may make a change in their leadership.
  • Naama Issachar, the Israeli woman convicted of drug smuggling in Russia, will have to wait longer to be pardoned.

Sirens were heard in the south of Israel Wednesday night at 2 AM as a rocket was shot from the Gaza Strip toward the city of Sederot, one of the major targets of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. The Iron Dome intercepted the rocket.  Israel retaliated from the air, the sea, and through artillery fire, striking location in Gaza used by Hamas. This came after the latest cease-fire agreement, and in the middle of talks in Egypt for a five-year cease fire agreement.

Gideon Sa’ar is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud between 2003 and 2014, and again in 2019. He previously served as Minister of Education, then Interior, from 2009 to 2014.

Israel, in return for Hamas aggression, has limited the fishing rights surrounding Gaza. On Thursday night, sirens were heard again in the south, and fighting continues. Friday is usually an active day for demonstrations at the fence between Gaza and Israel, which has been relatively quiet, except for one incident early this week where an armed terrorist was killed seeking to breach the wall. It seems that the fear of targeted attacks on Islamic Jihad executives has not prevented occasional timed rockets from Gaza.

Meanwhile, Likud, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attempted to stop primaries, which would offer members of Likud a new selection of representatives for Knesset elections in March. However, an internal party court struck down the decision by the party’s central committee as violating the Likud constitution. This could force Likud to hold primaries for their entire Knesset party list, in addition to its leadership battle, scheduled for December 26.

The head of the Likud party could become Prime Minister if it wins elections next year. Netanyahu wants to remain as Prime Minister and leader of Likud. His major opponent is Gideon Sa’ar, who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud from 2003-2014, and held cabinet posts Minister of Education and Minister of the Interior. Primaries will be held next week, during the holiday of Hanukah.

The cost of elections is taking a toll on many services provided by the government, which cannot be improved until a new government will take office and approve a new budget. These vital services include hospital care.

Likud supporters outside the Ashdod Likud branch during a primaries vote on February 5, 2019.

In April, 26 year-old Israeli-American Naama Issachar was arrested in Russia, while returning from India, after authorities found nine grams of marijuana in her luggage. She was later charged with drug smuggling, and sentenced to 7.5 years in prison. Her parents requested help from Netanyahu to free her. This week, a Russian court rejected Issachar’s appeal, leaving her sentence unchanged. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Putin in Israel in 2020 where he may ask Putin to pardon her.

An Israeli woman was sentenced in a US court in Maryland to 22 years imprisonment for orchestrating a scheme defrauding tens of thousands of people across the globe of more than $137 million.  There were 20 other people involved in this internet fraud, and Lee Elbaz is the first to be convicted. The scheme was done under the name Yukom.

Yukom employees pretended to be from other countries, lied about their professional qualifications, and adopted stage names. They falsely guaranteed profits, lied about their rates of return, and didn’t tell investors that they only made money if their customers lost money. Elbaz trained her employees how to do these schemes based in Caesarea, a northern city in Israel. Her defense attorney claimed that she was not responsible for their acts; they were working alone.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.

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