JERUSALEM

Israeli police have ordered the evacuation of several communities in southern and central Israel as wildfires rage amid a major heatwave.

Firefighters battled brushfires Thursday along the Gaza boundary, as well as near the country’s main international airport and outside Jerusalem. A major Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway was also closed to traffic because of the fire.

Israel and the region are gripped by a major heatwave, with temperatures around the country reaching 100 F (38 C) and higher.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the fires near the boundary with Gaza were caused by incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave.

Gaza militants had launched incendiary balloons into Israel on Wednesday, and in response, Israeli authorities reduced Gaza’s fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to 10.

Source: Fox News World

Israeli police have ordered the evacuation of several communities in southern and central Israel as wildfires rage amid a major heatwave.

Firefighters battled brushfires Thursday along the Gaza boundary, as well as near the country’s main international airport and outside Jerusalem. A major Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway was also closed to traffic because of the fire.

Israel and the region are gripped by a major heatwave, with temperatures around the country reaching 100 F (38 C) and higher.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the fires near the boundary with Gaza were caused by incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave.

Gaza militants had launched incendiary balloons into Israel on Wednesday, and in response, Israeli authorities reduced Gaza’s fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to 10.

Source: Fox News World

Israel’s attorney general says he has postponed a scheduled pre-indictment hearing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by three months.

Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit’s office said on Wednesday that he’ll hold the much-anticipated hearing at the beginning of October, after Netanyahu’s lawyers asked for an extension to review the prosecution’s material.

The Justice Ministry has previously said the hearing would take place by July 10.

Mandelblit has recommended pressing criminal charges against Netanyahu in three corruption cases, pending the hearing. The charges include allegations that he accepted gifts from billionaire friends and promoted beneficial regulations for a telecom magnate in exchange for positive coverage on a news site.

The recently re-elected Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and has called the charges the product of a media-orchestrated witch hunt to depose him.

Source: Fox News World

Israel’s attorney general says he has postponed a scheduled pre-indictment hearing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by three months.

Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit’s office said on Wednesday that he’ll hold the much-anticipated hearing at the beginning of October, after Netanyahu’s lawyers asked for an extension to review the prosecution’s material.

The Justice Ministry has previously said the hearing would take place by July 10.

Mandelblit has recommended pressing criminal charges against Netanyahu in three corruption cases, pending the hearing. The charges include allegations that he accepted gifts from billionaire friends and promoted beneficial regulations for a telecom magnate in exchange for positive coverage on a news site.

The recently re-elected Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and has called the charges the product of a media-orchestrated witch hunt to depose him.

Source: Fox News World

The Palestinians are giving a cool reception to an American plan to hold a conference next month to unveil the first phase of its Mideast peace plan.

The White House announced Sunday that it will hold the gathering in Bahrain to discuss large-scale investment in the Palestinian territories. It said the conference will not address the contentious political aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as final borders, and the status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says “any plan without a political horizon will not lead to peace.”

The Palestinians severed ties with the White House after President Donald Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. The U.S. has responded by cutting hundreds of millions of dollars of aid.

Source: Fox News World

A U.S. think tank that analyzes misinformation online has found that an Israel-based influence campaign busted by Facebook had stumped for the winning candidate in the February 2019 Nigerian presidential elections.

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab report Friday foregrounds posts from accounts tied to the Tel Aviv-based political consulting company Archimedes, which appeared to smear Atiku Abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari’s main opponent and former vice president of Nigeria.

One page pumped out a stream of content praising and boosting Buhari. Another purported to support Abubakar, only to target his supporters with anti-Abubakar posts later.

Facebook banned Archimedes from the platform Thursday for its “coordinated and deceptive behavior” and removed dozens of accounts primarily aimed at disrupting elections in African countries.

Source: Fox News World

Facebook says it has identified a private Israel-based influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts that engaged in spreading disinformation.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters Thursday the tech giant had purged 65 accounts, 161 pages and dozens of groups.

He says they primarily posed as political candidates and peddled fake news about elections, mostly in Sub-Saharan African countries, and with some scattered activity in Southeast Asia. The pages racked up 2.8 million followers and hundreds of thousands of views.

He says Facebook has banned Archimedes, an Israeli company that was behind the influence campaign.

Facebook has faced pressure to more transparently tackle misinformation since the revelation that Russia used Facebook to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Source: Fox News World

Israel’s president has granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a two-week extension to form a government, as negotiations continued among various political partners.

Reuven Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with building a coalition within 28 days of the April 9 elections. Though Netanyahu appeared close to finalizing deals as of Monday, recent national holidays and a spate of violence in Gaza have interrupted negotiations.

The prime minister’s Likud party and its Jewish ultra-Orthodox and nationalist allies won a 65-seat parliamentary majority.

It’s typical for a leader to request an extension and take advantage of the full 42 days provided by law to assemble a governing coalition. Under Israeli election rules, if Netanyahu fails to form a coalition after that time, Rivlin can task someone else to do so.

Source: Fox News World

Israel says it’s reopening the permitted fishing zone off the Gaza coast following a cease-fire deal with the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, which ended the worst spate of fighting between the enemies since a 2014 war.

COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Israel would expand the Palestinian fishing zone to a maximum of 12 nautical miles on Friday to “prevent the deterioration in humanitarian conditions” in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

A truce, mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the U.N., restored quiet to the volatile border after a weekend escalation killed 25 Palestinians and four Israelis.

The cease-fire deal is believed to include economic aid measures to help ease the crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory, imposed after Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Source: Fox News World

Israel is celebrating 71 years since the country was founded as a haven for Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

People flocked to parks and beaches on Thursday to celebrate Independence Day, enjoying barbeques and watching air force flyovers.

The celebrations started as Israel transitioned from melancholy Memorial Day for fallen soldiers — a bittersweet confluence meant to remind the state what was gained from the sacrifice of war.

This year, an escalation with Gaza militants threatened to overshadow the festivities but a cease-fire took hold on Monday.

Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, but marks the holiday according to the Hebrew calendar. Palestinians commemorate it next week as the anniversary of their “nakba,” or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted in the war over Israel’s creation.

Source: Fox News World


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