Israel. During the year, a large number of people fell
victim to the wave of violence between Palestinians and
Israelis, which began in the fall of 2015. In May, a
four-day fire went on across the border between Israel and
the Gaza Strip between Israeli forces and Hamas. According
to countryaah, there were
several knife-wielding attacks in East Jerusalem and around
the city of Hebron on the West Bank, where mainly young
Palestinians attacked Israeli soldiers and settlers.
In a speech to the Security Council in January, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon criticized the Israeli
occupation, which he said was an important explanation for
the violence of the Palestinian people. Ban Ki Moon visited
Israel in June and met both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. In connection
with the visit, the UN leader urged both sides to
immediately work towards a solution to the conflict.
In May, the country's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
resigned, citing lack of confidence in Netanyahu and the
government he believed had been taken over by extremists. In
the same month, Netanyahu agreed with controversial
right-wing politician Avigdor Lieberman that his nationalist
party Our Home Israel (Yisrael Beitenu) would take office in
the government and that Lieberman would become a new defense
minister - a decision that prompted the environment minister
to resign and met with criticism from more liberal forces
that warned of increased political and religious extremism.
In June, a conference was held in Paris with the
so-called International Peace Quartet in the Middle East
comprising, among others, the UN, the EU, the US, the
Russian Federation and several Arab states. Israel and
Palestine were not invited to the conference, the aim of
which was to get peace talks started. Netanyahu condemned
the meeting while encouraging it from the Palestinian side
as a step in the right direction, as all previous attempts
at direct dialogue with Israel did not result in any peace
agreement. After the conference, an analysis of the
situation in the area was presented with sharp accusations
and calls for both parties.
In sharp contrast to the report's recommendations not to
continue settler policy, Israel presented far-reaching plans
for new settlements in occupied areas during the year. The
policy received sharp criticism from, among others, the EU,
the UN and the US, who said that the settlements were a
major obstacle to peace.
At the end of the summer, the situation was so severe
that Hebron on the West Bank was isolated after several
attacks against Israelis living in the city. Ahead of the
Jewish festival of Yom Kippur in early October, the borders
to the West Bank and Gaza Strip were closed due to concerns
On September 28, the country's former president Shimon
Peres died at a hospital in the city of Ramat Gan east of
Tel Aviv. The 93-year-old president was the last in the life
of the politicians who helped and founded the state of
Israel in the 1940s.
In October, Israel terminated contact with the United
Nations Educational and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, after
the organization adopted two resolutions that emphasized the
importance of safeguarding Palestinian cultural heritage in,
for example, East Jerusalem. In November, Israel's
ambassador to UNESCO was called home as a result of the
At the end of November, several places in the central and
northern parts of the country were hit by severe fires which
spread rapidly due to drought and strong winds. The fires
forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes.
Several countries, including the United States and the
Russian Federation, sent fire extinguishing teams to help
with the rescue work. About twenty people were arrested for
murder and Netanyahu warned that those who committed or
called for murder should be treated as terrorists.
In the fall, the United States and Israel signed an
agreement that would provide Israel with a record $ 38
billion in military support over a ten-year period from 2019
to 2028. This is the biggest promise of military support the
United States has given to another country.
In December, a UN Security Council resolution passed
requiring Israel to stop building settlements on occupied
land because they violate international law. The resolution
passed as a result of the US choosing to abstain. Israel
reacted strongly to the member countries of the Security
Council, and in particular to the United States, which was
described as a driving force behind the decision.