Pompeo visits Israel; Israel Supreme Court decision: Israel Update
August 28, 2020
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a collection of homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, must be removed. With the judgment, Israel’s top court overturned a 2018 District Court ruling, which had recognized the Mitzpe Kramim settlers’ claim to the land, despite it being owned by Palestinians. The District Court had leveraged an Israeli law stating that transactions with legal faults could be valid if they were conducted in “good faith,” and thereby declared the settlers to be the legal owners by finding that Israeli authorities were unaware the land had been privately owned when they mapped out the area. But the Supreme Court's ruling said that the Israeli authorities had turned "a blind eye to the many warning signs given over many years.” Established 20 years ago on a hilltop overlooking the Jordan Valley, Mitzpe Kramim is home to about 40 families, most of whom live on plots owned by Palestinians.
The number of coronavirus cases in Israel has risen by 1,090, since Thursday, according to updated Health Ministry figures. To date, the total number of cases is 111,493. The death toll has risen to 891. The number of active cases is 20,444, with 426 patients in serious condition. On Wednesday, Ukraine announced it would seal its borders to foreigners through September to curb rising coronavirus infections. The move should prevent Israeli and Jewish pilgrims from traveling to the city of Uman for the Rosh Hashanah holiday. The announcement came after coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to block the pilgrimage, fearing infection rates would spike when pilgrims returned to the Jewish state. Last week, ministers refused to approve Gamzu’s coronavirus plan, reportedly because Haredi ministers are opposed to restrictions that shutter synagogues in high-infection areas. Gamzu’s plan intends to restrict activity during the High Holiday period, which begins next month.
IDF forces struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, early Friday, in response to six rockets that were fired from Gaza towards southern Israel through the night. On Thursday, terrorists in the Strip sent dozens of arson balloons carrying small explosives across the border, causing over two dozen fires in southern Israel, according to the fire department. This latest exchange in the south came amid mounting tensions between Israel and terrorist organizations in the Strip, notably Hamas, which rules Gaza. In recent weeks, numerous similar attacks from Gaza have sparked scores of wildfires in southern Israel. Furthermore, Hamas has fired rockets across the border, and instigated violent protests along the security fence. Israel, in retaliation, has carried out near-nightly airstrikes against Hamas targets, limited imports to the Strip, and restricted the size of fishing zones. In addition to the rising tension in Gaza, an Israeli Rabbi was stabbed by a suspected terrorist, and later succumbed to his injuries in Central Israel.