Israel. The decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv
to Jerusalem was made by President Donald Trump in December
2017, and on May 14, the new embassy was inaugurated as
Israel celebrated its 70th national day. However, the
inauguration led to strong protests from the Palestinians,
who saw this as a recognition that Jerusalem was the capital
of Israel. The protests became the bloodiest in four years
with nearly 60 dead and over 1,000 injured on the border
between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The damnation of the
outside world did not wait, only the UN would take two
months. On June 14, 120 of 193 countries in the General
Assembly condemned Israeli action (only eight countries
voted against, while 43 abstained).
In March, the conflict with Palestine flared up again.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians went out and demonstrated
at the end of March. This is at the urging of Hamas, who
declared a six-week protest. At least 17 people were killed
on Good Friday, March 30, and more than 1,400 were injured
in clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli military in
the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid
tribute to the soldiers who "protected the country's
borders" with the words: "Well done, our soldiers."
conflict continued into April with more casualties.
In July, Israeli fighter aircraft carried out the largest
military operation since the Gaza war in 2014. According to
Israel, it wanted to "take vigorous measures against the
violence in Gaza". More than 40 targets belonging to the
terror-stamped Islamist movement Hamas were attacked. Hamas,
for its part, responded by firing rockets and grenades at
southern Israel. Shortly after the attacks, Israel and the
Palestinian armed groups in Gaza agreed on a ceasefire. It
was a peace agreement drawn up by, among others, Egypt.
In November, the Israeli air strikes against Gaza
continued, followed by ceasefire. This time, Prime Minister
Netanyahu was heavily criticized by Defense Minister Avigdor
Lieberman for being too vague. Lieberman said the cease-fire
was "a capitulation to terror" and resigned from the post of
Minister of Defense. This led to a smaller government crisis
in the country, with the risk of re-election. Education
Minister Naftali Bennett had threatened to dismiss the
government if he did not become Defense Minister after
Lieberman's departure. Bennett then changed and the
Netanyahu government could remain. But on December 24, the
hard-pressed Prime Minister announced that Parliament would
be dissolved and that new elections be held in April 2019.
In July, the Israeli parliament passed a law defining the
country as the "nation state of the Jewish people" where the
Jewish people have "exclusive right to self-determination"
in Israel. In addition, the law states that Jewish
settlements in occupied territory are of national interest.
Critics believe the new law is racist.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been suspected of corruption
and bribery for over a year. He is suspected of receiving,
among other things, precious gifts from political
supporters, including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. In
addition, Netanyahu should have treated the
telecommunications company Bezeq favorably against receiving
positive media coverage by a media company owned by Bezeq.
In February, the police therefore recommended that the Prime
Minister be prosecuted. It is not only Netanyahu but also
his son Yair and his wife Sara who are suspected of
corruption. In a telephone conversation, Yair Netanyahu is
said to have revealed his father's corruption in connection
with a controversial gas deal. In June, Sara Netanyahu was
indicted for fraud and adultery against the principal,
suspected of having used government assets worth SEK 1
million for catering services in the Prime Minister's
residence in Jerusalem. In December, prosecution for both
Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu was recommended for the third
time, but the prosecutor has not yet decided.
Occupations in the occupied area continued this year as
well. In January, it was decided to approve over 1,100
settlements on the West Bank, at the end of May a little
over 2,000, and in July another 400 in Geva Binyamin. Today,
500,000 Israelis live on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In September, Israel, which won the Eurovision Song
Contest with the song "Toy" by singer Netta, was informed in
September that the 2019 competition will not be held in
Jerusalem as desired. According to the decision of the
European Broadcasting Union EBU, it will instead be Tel Aviv
- a slightly less controversial decision, since the majority
of the outside world still sees Tel Aviv as Israel's