US envoy Amos Hochstein (pictured) negotiated a “historic agreement” between Israel and Lebanon, demarcating a disputed maritime border between them, it was announced on October 11. The deal represents a significant compromise between two countries with a history of war, opening the way for offshore energy exploration. “This is a historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said. The office of Lebanese President Michel Aoun issued a statement saying, “The final version of the offer satisfies Lebanon, meets its demands and preserves its rights to its natural resources.” US President Joe Biden called Lapid and Aoun to congratulate them for the first mutually agreed upon boundary between their two states, telling Lapid, “You’re making history.” The agreement , due to be signed on October 27, was strongly opposed by the Israeli right-wing bloc, headed by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, as “a capitulation to Hezbollah.”
Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, was killed in a terrorist shooting at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem on October 8. The IDF said Lazar, from the community of Bat Hefer in northern Israel, was a member of the Military Police’s Erez battalion. “Noa Lazar was promoted in rank from corporal to sergeant after her death,” the army said. “The IDF expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family and will continue to support them.” A civilian security guard, David Morel, 30, who made aliyah from Brazil in 2017 and served as a lone soldier in the IDF, was seriously wounded in the attack and hospitalized at Hadassah. On October 19, the terrorist – identified as Udai Tamimi, 22 – was killed by two security guards after he opened fire on them at the entrance to Ma’ale Adumim, lightly wounding one of them in the hand.
IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Ido Baruch, 21, was fatally wounded in a shooting attack near the community of Shavei Shomron in Samaria on October 11. Baruch, who was from Gedera and served in the Givati reconnaissance unit, was part of a unit securing a march by settlers near the adjacent Palestinian town of Sebastia to protest a spate of recent shootings in the West Bank. The gunman opened fire from a passing vehicle and fled the scene at high speed, according to the IDF. At the funeral in Gedera, his commander said Baruch had “a spirit of devotion, human love and optimism,” while his girlfriend said, “Ido was the most beautiful person I ever met – inside and out.” Baruch’s corneas were transplanted into the eyes of two people in their 80s – Binyamin Goren and Aviva Ra’anan – at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba to enable them to see again.
Israel slammed Australia’s announcement on October 18 that it no longer recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem summoned Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths to protest the move. The ministry expressed “deep disappointment” over Canberra’s decision, calling it the result of “shortsighted political considerations.” In response to media reports on the matter, Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced that the Labor government was reversing the previous administration’s 2018 recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stating that “Jerusalem is a final-status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations.”
llona Hahn, a much-loved news presenter on Kol Yisrael’s English News for many years, died on October 15 aged 78 after bravely battling a protracted illness. The South African-born Hahn, who had a velvety voice and a sparkling personality, is survived by her daughters, granddaughters and brothers. She was laid to rest in Beit Shemesh. “She was lucky (if that is the word) that she had that last month for all her family and many friends to come, reminisce, and sort of say goodbye,” said her friend and former colleague at Kol Yisrael, Jeanette Amid. “There were tears and laughter, and all the emotions in between.”