Israel faced its largest weekly increase in the number of coronavirus cases between June 29 and July 4. The country now has 11,856 active cases, 90 of which are in serious medical condition. Due to the large increase, the coronavirus cabinet decided on July 6 to close clubs, bars, and gyms with immediate effect. Additionally, restaurants, synagogues, and public transportation will only be allowed to function at limited capacity.
An Israeli court sentenced Shaban Titi, a Palestinian man, on July 6 for a terror ramming in 2015. According to the incident report, Titi ran over the victim, Avraham Hasano, and dragged him for 121 feet before leaving the Israeli severely injured on the road. Prosecutors originally initially charged Titi with manslaughter but upon Hasano’s death, upgraded the indictment to murder.
Iran accused Israel of launching a cyber-attack that caused an explosion at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility on July 2 which might “slow down the development and expansion of advanced centrifuges” according to Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Although the extent of the damage is unclear, Kamalvandi said “there were advanced equipment and precision measurements at this site that were either destroyed or damaged.” The Natanz facility is where Iran builds its faster and more efficient centrifuges that defy the nuclear deal signed in 2015.
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on July 1 to protest the planned “annexation” of areas of the West Bank. The Hamas-led demonstrations took place in Gaza City in what was called the “day of rage.”
The Palestinian Authority started a five-day lockdown in parts of the West Bank on July 3 to curb the spread of the coronavirus. All public and private institutions are closed during this time excluding pharmacies, bakeries, and grocery stores which are open from 8 a.m until 8 p.m.
The IDF launched retaliatory airstrikes after terrorists fired two rockets at Israel from Gaza on July 5. The military said in a statement it struck a manufacturing workshop and weapons manufacturing infrastructure to “hamper the Hamas terror organization’s buildup capability.”
The Israeli Defense Forces arrested a Palestinian man from Gaza on June 28 after he tried to swim around the border into Israel. Israeli officials said the man was unarmed and did not suspect him of terror-related activities, before sending him back to Gaza.
The Interior Ministry of Hamas claimed in a published statement that it arrested members of an Israeli-run spy-ring in Gaza. However, the terror group, which runs Gaza, failed to provide evidence or photos to back the statement. Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service declined to respond to the allegations.
Hamas test-fired 20 rockets into the sea July 1 as a proclaimed warning to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government not to go forward with annexation plans. During the week of June 22-28, Hamas said that any Israeli unilateral action in the West Bank would be “a declaration of war” against the Palestinian people.
Jordan continued its public opposition to unilateral Israeli action in the West Bank. According to reports, the kingdom made it clear to the United States, the European Union, and Israel that it opposed any sovereignty move even if it is limited. Channel 13 reported on July 4 that King Abdullah II made this message clear to Israel when meeting with Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen.
Jewish Policy Center intern Sacha Warnod compiled this report.