Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Israel's President Reuven Rivlin(C) stand with dignitaries at the Munich Memorials. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
CASE 3000 ARRESTS
Roni Tayeb, an adviser to National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz, and Eliezer (Moodi) Zandberg, the world chairman of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, were arrested by police on September 4. Tayeb is suspected of bribery and conspiracy to commit a crime in the investigation into Israel’s purchase of submarines from Germany, known as Case 3000. Zandberg is suspected of bribing state officials on behalf of Miki Ganor, the Israeli representative of the German shipbuilding company, ThyssenKrupp.
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin joined German President Frank- Walter Steinmeier and other dignitaries on September 6 to inaugurate the Munich 1972 Massacre Memorial to the 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team murdered by Black September, in a terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972. On behalf of the relatives of the massacre’s victims, Rivlin thanked Steinmeier “for the official recognition that you bring to this sacred moment.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Argentina September 10 on an El Al flight inaugurating direct flights between the two countries. On his first trip to Latin America, Netanyahu is also set to visit Colombia, Mexico and the US, where he will address the United Nations and meet President Donald Trump and other world leaders.
Early in the morning of September 7, Israel Air Force jets bombed a facility in northern Syria where the Assad regime is believed to have stored chemical weapons, according to foreign media reports. While the IDF would not confirm the reports, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, “Everything will be done to prevent a Shi’ite corridor from Tehran to Damascus.” Following the strike, which killed at least two people and caused extensive damage, the Syrian army warned of “dangerous repercussions.”
On September 4, the IDF began a massive two-week training exercise to prepare for a possible war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The army said the drill focused on countering Hezbollah’s increased military capabilities and would include a simulation of evacuating close to a quarter of a million Israelis living in northern Israel. In response, Lebanese media quoted a top Hezbollah official as saying, “We are on full alert and ready at any time for any scenario.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on September 4 condemned North Korea’s nuclear test a day before and called for firm international action against Pyongyang. “The test constitutes yet another example of North Korea’s aggressive pattern of behavior,” the ministry said in a statement. “A decisive international response will prevent other countries from behaving in a similar manner.”
Arnon Milchan, an Israeli billionaire movie mogul, was questioned under caution in London at the end of August on suspicion that he bribed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in what has been called the Case 1000 gifts affair. Milchan reportedly confirmed that he often gave expensive gifts to Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, but denied that he expected anything in return.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on September 8 that he plans to indict her for allegedly using public funds to pay for over $100,000 in meals ordered by the Prime Minister’s Residence from Jerusalem restaurants. In what has been dubbed “the Meals Affair,” Mrs. Netanyahu, with the help of an aide, Ezra Saidoff, is alleged to have created a false impression between 2010-13 that no chefs were employed at the residence. Netanyahu said in a Facebook post that the claims were “absurd.”