News Digest — 11/7/22

Pompeo: Glad Netanyahu Is Returning As Prime Minister

Former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed satisfaction Sunday (6th) with Israeli Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory in last Tuesday’s (1st) Knesset election, saying Netanyahu’s return to power is good for Israel, the US, and global security.

Pompeo took to Twitter Sunday evening (6th) to say he is “glad” Netanyahu is poised to return to the premiership.

“Bibi Netanyahu’s return is a good thing for Israel, it’s a good thing for America, and it’s a good thing for global stability.  We should all be glad he’s back.”

Netanyahu’s Likud party and the three factions allied with it won a total of 64 seats in last Tuesday’s (1st) general election, Israel’s fifth since the spring of 2019.

The Opposition Leader, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister is reportedly planning to form a new coalition government as quickly as possible, cutting short Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s care-taker government.

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides congratulated the Likud chairman last Thursday (3rd).



Hamas Claims It Arrested Two Gazans Who Fired Rockets At Israel

The Hamas terror group that rules Gaza arrested two people for firing rockets at Israel last week, a source in the Palestinian enclave told AFP.

The Israel Defense Forces said rockets were launched Thursday (3rd) from Gaza, the first such military action since three days of cross-border fighting in August.

The incident prompted Hamas’ internal security services to detain two people “directly related to the firing of the four rockets,”  said a Hamas official who requested anonymity.

“The Palestinian factions had nothing to do with these rockets, which were aimed at giving the occupation [Israel] an excuse for continuing the aggression,” the source told AFP.

The rocket fire was not claimed by any of the armed factions operating in Gaza, which has been ruled by Hamas since 2007.

It came just hours after former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was declared the winner of the November 1 elections, and after an Islamic Jihad gunman was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

The Hamas source did not detail the affiliation of those arrested, adding that the rockets fired were not loaded with explosives.

Palestinian factions have an agreement to “coordinate any response to Israeli aggression,” he told AFP.

Israel launched retaliatory strikes Friday (4th) on Gaza, which the army said hit a rocket production site belonging to Hamas.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been under an israeli/Egypt blockade imposed since Hamas took power, aimed at preventing the terror group from arming itself.

The Israeli military and Hamas have fought four wars over the past 15 years. 



Israel Designated Terror Group Calls For Destruction Of US, EU

Not only Israel, but also the United States, Canada and the European Union must be conquered, a top representative of an Israeli-designated terror group said at a recent event in Brussels.

“Defeating Israel means defeating the United States.  Defeating Israel means defeating Canada.  These settlements exist on the backs of the indigenous people,” said Mohammed Khatib, the EU coordinator for the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Network.

He made the comments at a rally outside of the EU Parliament during the October 29th March for Return and Liberation,” planned by the Masar Badil, or Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement.

“Defeating Israel means defeating this colonial institution [the EU legislature].  It means payback for all Africans… second and third generations who are in Brussels.  We’ve built this city, and we still face fascism.  So, we will say no to this not only in Palestine [sic], but here in Europe, there in the United States and in all Arab countries,” Khatib added.

According to Samidoun’s website, the march had numerous clear principles, including the demand for “the liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea and the right to return to Israel for all Palestinians.”

Samidoun was designated by Israel as a terrorist organization due to its ties to the Popilar Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) whose members founded it in 2012.



Energean Finds 13 Billion Cubic Meters Of Natural Gas Off Israel’s Shore

Energean PLC has announced a new commercial natural gas discovery of 13 billion cubic meters off the shore of Israel as a result of its exploratory-drilling-well dubbed Zeus-1; as well it has confirmed the presence of an additional 3.75 bcm at its Athena site.

These discoveries have confirmed the company’s suspicions that the so-called “Olympus area” located between the Karish and Tanin gas fields are both voluminous and commercially viable.

The company is now plotting its steps toward capitalizing on the area’s bounty and expects to update the market on the total resource columns within the Olympus area, taking into account the uplifted volumes in both Zeus and Athena, in early 2023. 

“Following the start of production from our Karish reservoir last week, I am pleased that our drilling program, which has now delivered five successive wells, continues to deliver value, ensuring security of supply and energy competition across the region,” said Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean.

“We are evaluating a number of potential commercialization options for the Olympus area that leverage both new and our existing, unique Med-based infrastructure, and we expect to commit to a development concept in 1H 2023,” he said.

A future drilling site off Israel’s coast will be added, as Energean has moved its Stena IceMax drilling rig in order to begin drilling at its Hercules drilling site, the final well in its 2022 drilling campaign.



Police Arrest Man Who Assaulted Elderly Jew, Stomped On His Kippah In Toronto

A Toronto man who assaulted an elderly Jew and stomped on his kippah was arrested Friday (4th), Toronto Police said in a press release.

Khristoff Gordon, 29, was identified as the man who approached a 70-year-old man and assaulted him unprovoked on October 26.  When the senior’s religious head garb fell to the ground, Gordon stomped on the kippah “while yelling racial slurs.”

The assailant, who has no fixed address, was charged with assault and mischief.  The police treated the incident as a hate-motivated crime.

Toronto has a large Jewish population of approximately 200,000 people.

Also, in July, a suspect believed to be responsible for graffiti-inciting to kill Jews and a series of other hate-motivated acts of vandalism was arrested in Toronto.

The graffiti depicted a dead Jew with a kippah and side locks in a gun scope’s crosshairs.  Next to the drawing was scrawled on the wall “shoot a Jew.”



Israel: Plastic-Free Packaging Solution Enters US Market

A plastic-free, plant-based barrier coating for packaging from Rehovot-based Melodea will be available within six months to the burgeoning US and South American markets.

Melodea’s cellulose nanocrystal coating is sourced from wood pulp, a sidestream of the paper-making industry.  This eco-friendly material lets food, beverage, and consumer goods packagers stop using plastic or aluminum as a barrier to air, water, or grease seeping through single-use packaging.

With increasing demand from the US market, Melodea will open a manufacturing plant in the United States to produce MelOx, which protects packaged products from oxygen, oil and grease transmission; and a VB-coating material, which counteracts the transmission of water, oil and grease.  

Both materials are compliant with FDA regulations for food packaging and are currently used for the manufacture of paper-based pouches, lids, molded pulp trays and more.

Shaul Lapidot, CEO and co-founder of Melodea, said that cellulose nanocrystals are a naturally abundant and renewable alternative to environmentally harmful materials.

“The new plant, combined with our newly established ties in the US, can potentially triple our manufacturing capacity to meet amplified demands.  It also will shorten the travel and subsequent carbon footprint by bringing production closer to our main markets in South America and the US,” Lapidot said.

Melodea was founded as a spinoff from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010 by Lapidot with Tord Andres and serial entrepreneur Prof. Oded Shoseyov.  The technology is protected by 14 patents and won the Packaging Europe 2019 Sustainability Award.