14 Days: Pittsburgh memorial

What happened in Israel the last two weeks.

Government Press Office's international Jewish Media Summit 2018 (photo credit: GPO)
Government Press Office's international Jewish Media Summit 2018
(photo credit: GPO)
Some 150 journalists and bloggers from more than 30 countries who came to the Government Press Office's international Jewish Media Summit 2018 on November 26 formed a human Star of David inside of which was the number 11, in memory of the 11 victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh a month before. GPO Director Nitzan Chen said, “While the event in Pittsburgh was painful to everyone, it also reminded all of us that we are one people and must be united.”
NORTHERN SHIELD The IDF launched what was called “Operation Northern Shield” on December 4, aimed at destroying Hezbollah terror tunnels from Lebanon. “Hezbollah knows very well that anyone who attacks Israel will pay a heavy price,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a news conference in Tel Aviv, with outgoing chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot at his side. A day before, Netanyahu updated US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a meeting in Brussels, and said he had received full American backing.
OFRA ATTACK Seven people were wounded, including a pregnant woman and her husband, both aged 21, in a drive-by shooting attack at a bus stop outside Ofra, north of Jerusalem, on December 9. The woman was rushed to Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where her baby was delivered by C-section. The hospital reported that the couple and the baby were in “critical condition.”
HAMAS HANGINGS A court in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on December 3 sentenced five men and a woman to death for “collaborating” with Israel. “Collaborators must realize that the [Israeli] occupation will not be able to protect them,” said Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for Hamas’s interior ministry in Gaza, saying five would be hanged and one shot by a firing squad. International human rights groups have protested in vain against Hamas for its policy of executions.
POLICE PROBE Israel Police recommended on December 2 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000. The case involves alleged corruption in the Bezeq Telecommunications company and Walla news website. The police also recommended indicting the companies' owner, Shaul Elovitch, his wife, Iris, and several Bezeq officials. Speaking at a Hanukkah event in Ramat Gan, Netanyahu brushed off the police recommendation, calling it “a process that was infected from the start.”
WOMEN STRIKE Women went on an unprecedented strike and held protests across Israel on December 4, demanding government action and funds to combat violence against women – which has claimed the lives of 24 women in the country this year. The strike was called after the murders of two teenagers – Sylvana Tsegai, 13, and Yara Ayoub, 16, in the last week of November. “We are taking to the streets to scream out the cries of the murdered women,” said WIZO Israel head Gila Oshrat.
CAPITAL GROWTH Jerusalem is the world's fastest-growing tourist destination, according to a report by the UK-based Euromonitor International research firm. Tourism in the Israeli capital grew by 32% in 2017, and was set to grow by 38% (to 4.8 million visitors) in 2018, it said. November was a record month for Israeli tourism, with some 389,000 visitors.
GOOD DOCTOR Dr. Cyril B. Sherer, a retired physician and healer who published his memoir, “Cases and Crises: A Physician’s Saga,” last year, died in Jerusalem on December 4 at the age of 97. Sherer was a regular contributor to “The Jerusalem Report,” most recently writing about his famous cousin, Morris “Two-Gun” Cohen and a short story titled “The Indian Bishop.”