Israel Military

Israel 1997

Israel is a country located in Asia. According to AbbreviationFinder, IL is the two-letter ISO code of Israel, and ISR is the three-letter country abbreviation for Israel.

Yearbook 1997

Israel. The support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was increasingly eroded during the year. Several ministers jumped out of the government after conflicts with the prime minister and even the United States rejected him. Almost daily, Israeli press speculated on Netanyahu’s departure, but he kept his post nonetheless.

According to Countryaah, the national day of Israel is April 14. The first of this year’s scandals involving the prime minister involved the government’s appointment of the relatively unmarried lawyer Roni Bar-On as new state prosecutor. Israeli TV reported that Bar-On had been given the job after promising to pardon Arye Deri, the anti-corruption leader of the Shas Orthodox Party. Shas had threatened to withdraw its support for Netanyahu on certain issues in the Knesset unless Bar-On was named. The evidence against Netanyahu was not enough to prosecute, but investigators criticized him for lack of skills.

Israel Military

In October, it was discovered that Netanyahu had sent two agents from the Mossad security service to Jordan to murder one of Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) leaders. The assassination attempt failed and the agents were arrested. To free them, Netanyahu forced Hamas’ founder, Ahmed Yassin, out of Israeli prison, as well as some 50 other Palestinian prisoners whom Jordan wanted to be released. Assessors strongly questioned Netanyahu’s judgment.

Another problem for Netanyahu was the Israeli occupation of the so-called security zone in southern Lebanon. During the first nine months of the year, the Shiite guerrilla Hizbullah (God’s party) killed at least 34 Israeli soldiers there. That was more than in any other year since the occupation began in 1985. In addition, 73 people died when two helicopters collided in the air near the Lebanon border in February. A group of soldier mothers launched a campaign for a retreat from Lebanon. Several ministers also demanded a withdrawal.

In November, Netanyahu increased his power in the Likud Conservative party as he changed the process for how the candidates for parliament should be elected. Previously, they were voted on by the party members in the primary election, but Netanyahu made the party congress decide that the candidates should be elected by the party’s central committee, which is entirely dominated by Netanyahu’s supporters.

The change brought sharp criticism within Likud and it was speculated whether the party would crack.

Likud’s rival, Labor Party Israel Labor Party, in June elected former commander Ehud Barak as new party leader after Shimon Peres. Barak, who has been Minister of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, was described as a man who can compete for political power with Netanyahu. Both were born in Israel and belonged to the army’s counterterrorism force, where Barak was Netanyahu’s commander.

No solution to the current deadlock in the peace process with the Palestinians was reached during the year. Hamas, which has not carried out any suicide attacks since Netanyahu took office in 1996, resumed its terrorist activities. A total of 24 Israelis were killed in three blast attacks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in March, July and September.

While Netanyahu called for a stop to the terror, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat called for a stop for Jewish settlements on the West Bank, which has become an increasingly important symbolic issue for both parties.

Violent confrontations erupted on two occasions: in the spring when the settlement of Hom Homa began to be built in eastern Jerusalem and in the autumn around another settlement in the same part of the city, Ras al-Amud. Later in the autumn, peace talks started again, but no breakthrough was achieved.

August

Israeli attacks claim life

31 August

Israel attacks military targets at two locations in southern Syria. According to SOHR, two Syrian soldiers and three allied foreign militiamen lost their lives; the latter are said to belong to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, which is fighting in Syria on the side of the regime. Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on targets in Syria since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, but rarely confirms or comments on the efforts (see 5 May).

Ceasefire at the Gaza border

31 August

A ceasefire is concluded between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules inside the Gaza Strip, after more than three weeks of cross-border hostilities. Since August 6, Israel has bombed targets in Gaza almost daily in response to Palestinian fireballs and rockets (see August 12). An informal ceasefire is now being renewed, with Israel easing the blockade on Gaza in exchange for peace at the border, with the help of Qatari and Egyptian mediation. The fishing zone that Israel allows outside Gaza is being expanded to 15 nautical miles and goods are to be re-admitted into the strip, including fuel for Gaza’s only power plant. Increased cash support from Qatar to the population of Gaza, especially the salaries of civil servants, is included in the agreement.

UN strength is reduced

August 28th

The UN Security Council is extending the UNIFIL peacekeeping operation on the Lebanese-Israeli border, but reducing the force from 15,000 to 13,000 men. In practice, the decision does not mean much, as the force currently consists of 10,500 men, according to diplomatic sources. The resolution calls on Lebanon to ensure that Unifil also has access to an area north of the “blue line” (the UN-designated border) where tunnels were found in 2019 that could be used for intrusion from Lebanon into Israeli territory. The tunnels have been attributed to Shiite militia Hezbollah. Unifil was established in 1978 and strengthened in connection with wars between the countries in 2006.

Israel’s HD declares settlement illegal

August 27th

Israel’s Supreme Court overturns a decision giving Jewish settlers the right to land on a hill near the Jordan River. About 40 Jewish settler families live on the hill, which they call Mitzpe Kramim, but most of the land is in fact privately owned and Palestinian. According to the court, the settlers must be evicted, but the Israeli state must find new homes for them within three years. The site is located on the occupied West Bank, where all Jewish settlements are illegal from an international point of view.

Continued large spread of infection

August 25th

Almost 2,000 new cases of corona infection have been registered over the course of a day. In order for the schools to open on September 1, the Israeli authorities have hoped that no more than 400 cases will be added per day. Of a total of 867 deaths from covid-19 disease, about 400 have been claimed in the past month.

The risk of new elections is postponed to the future

August 24th

Parliament postpones a vote on the state budget for 120 days, thus avoiding a further re-election. An agreement that the budget must be adopted before 25 August has been in agreements between the major parties governing cooperation in the crisis government (see 20 April and 7 May), but they have difficulty agreeing on it and other issues. Following the decision in the Knesset, the new time limit for the budget falls on 23 December. The parties are also running for appointments to key positions that could affect the outcome of the trial against the accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (see July 19). This mainly applies to the public prosecutor’s post; Avichai Mandelblit’s term expires in 2022.

Israel military exercises in Germany

August 18

The Israeli and German air forces begin the countries’ first joint military exercise in Germany. Pilots fly in formation over an air base near Munich, a tribute to the victims of a terrorist attack that took place at the 1972 Olympics and claimed the lives of eleven Israelis. They then fly over to Dachau, where the Nazis murdered 40,000 Jews during World War II. The tributes take place 75 years after the end of the war and at a time when anti-Semitic groups are once again making their mark in Germany.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates conclude peace

August 13th

The cautious contacts that have been going on for some time between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (see October 29, 2018 and October 6, 2019) result in something they call a peace agreement, Israel’s third with an Arab nation. The emirate recognizes Israel and states that one condition is that Israel does not take seriously its plans to annex more land in the occupied West Bank. Full diplomatic exchanges, trade and air links will be established and emirates will be able to visit the holy sites of Islam in Jerusalem. One reason why Israel and Sunni-Muslim Arab countries are approaching each other is that they are concerned about the Iranian regime’s influence in the region. The Palestinians react to the settlement with disappointment and condemnation.

Gaza Strip: Fire balloons and punishments

12th of August

For several days in a row, ground fires have occurred in Israel since dozens of balloons with firebombs were launched with the wind from the Gaza Strip. Israel responds with, among other things, airstrikes on targets in Gaza linked to the Islamist movement Hamas and with reducing the Palestinian fishing zone off the coast of Gaza from 15 to 8 nautical miles. Hamas has also fired a series of rockets into the sea as a “warning” to Israel, which has since closed the border with goods to Gaza, including fuel for the power plant. During an intense period of Palestinian protests in 2018, fireballs were sent daily across the border, with fires in Israel as a result. Some put such hostilities across the border in connection with money transfers from Qatar that keep impoverished Palestinians in their arms; Israel is being put under pressure to allow the transfers.

Court order against Netanyahu son

August 2

A court in Jerusalem has ordered Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son Yair to stop harassing people who are holding demonstrations against his father. The son has, among other things, published addresses to Neyanyahu’s opponents via social media. The day before the decision, which is valid for six months, a Netanyahu-critical protest was carried out, which was the largest in several years. In street protests in recent weeks, mainly in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, criticism of the government’s corona policy has been sharp and some have demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister.