Israel Weekly News Roundup, May 20 2022
5 Things you need to know
A New Crisis Threatens the Already Shaken Coalition After One More MK Announced She Will No Longer Be Part of the Coalition: Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, a member of the left-wing party Meretz, surprised the political field and the public when she announced her decision to resign as a member of the coalition. Rinawie-Zoabi explained her move in an interview to Channel 12 News by saying that she can no longer support a government that acts against everything she believes in and wants to promote. Her announcement came as a complete surprise to her colleagues in Meretz and other key members of the coalition. So far she has refused to meet with any of them. If she decides to vote with the opposition next week this may lead to the end of the current government and create momentum for general elections.
It is important to mention that Bennet’s coalition is already very fragile, consisting of only 60 seats (out of 120), now this balance may be worse. If she refrains from voting, thereby creating a standoff.
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Clashes Between Palestinians and Law Enforcement Continues: Israeli soldiers continued their military activity in the Palestinian town of Jenin and refugee camps in the West Bank, in order to catch potential terrorists before they execute their actions. Meanwhile, violent clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and police during the funeral of a Palestinian who was critically injured and died earlier this week. Police reported that these were the most severe clashes in Jerusalem since the violent events last May (during the military operation in Gaza). Israel is doing all it can to prevent and stop the series of terrorist events that started during the holy month of Ramadan.
It is important to mention here that the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over who will investigate the death of the Palestinian American journalist, Shireen Abu-Akaleh last week during an Israeli military operation at the Palestinian town of Jenin, has not been resolved yet. No one knows if she was killed by an Israeli bullet or a Palestinian one. The heightened tension around this event continues.
Police Forcefully Ended The Jewish Religious Pilgrimage to Mount Meron During Lag Ba’Omer After a Crowd Broke the Barriers: After the tragedy last year, that caused the deaths of 45 men and children and injured tens of pilgrims, there was a lot of tension around the event this year. During the past year the government established a special investigative committee to look into the agencies and authorities who may be responsible for neglecting the safety of the people. The committee is still intensively investigating the event. The police, fire-fighting authority, ministry of religious services and other state agencies took extra safety precautions towards the event this year and decided to limit the number of people who can be at the site at the same time, imposed pre-ordering of tickets etc. Visitors complained that the event lacked its spirit. Many chose not to come at all this year. Towards the end of the event, thousands of people broke the fences and rushed into the site. Police had to stop them, to prevent another disaster. Bereaved families are still waiting for the state to take responsibility and compensate them for their losses from last years tragedy.
All Public Hospitals in Israel Went on a One Day Strike to Protest Against Violence Directed to Medical Staff: All hospitals in Israel declared a strike on Thursday and treated only emergency cases. Two severely violent attacks against medical staff occurred this week. In Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, the family of a person who died in the hospital acted violently, physically attacking the medical staff and destroying the intensive care unit in which he was treated, thereby causing a lot of damage.
Later the staff at a northern hospital were also attacked by a bereaved family. Events like those are more and more common. There are calls from the hospital management and from the ministry of health to allocate resources that will enable the placement of police in emergency rooms and other key departments.
The Southern Town of Netivot Decided to Cancel the LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in Town After Organizers Received an Envelope with a Bullet and a Threat: The parade was planned to march on June 3rd for the first time. The town of Netivot has a predominantly very conservative and religious population. In addition to the threat a petition against the parade was distributed, which gained thousands of signatures in a short time. Due to the threat, the municipality decided not to take any chances and cancelled the parade. The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel announced that it would hold a protest to support the LGBTQ+ community in Netivot in front of the city’s municipality, but police reported that they will not be able to secure the event, therefore police cannot authorize it.
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