ISRAEL RESPONDS TO ICC: YOU HAVE NO JURISDICTION OVER US: Israel will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes, top ministers decided on Thursday.
The state will argue in a letter of response to The Hague that the court has no jurisdiction to open the probe, consistent with Israel’s longstanding position. The letter will also declare that Israel rejects the accusation that it committed war crimes. Israel is not a member of the ICC and has a policy of not cooperating with it, such that it was unclear that the government would respond at all to the letter Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda sent last month. (JPost / VFI News)
THREATS OF WAR BETWEEN CHINA AND TAIWAN: The U.S. military is concerned that an attack on Taiwan by Chinese forces is imminent, which could trigger a significant increase in tensions between the two countries.
Military officials are suspecting that China’s government is accelerating a timetable for attacking and possibly seizing control of the island following years of building tensions and disputes over sovereignty, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. “We have indications that the risks are actually going up,” Admiral Philip Davidson told a Senate panel in March. As a result of the heightened tensions, the USS John S. McCain arrived in the Taiwan strait Wednesday, according to Reuters, as China attempted to continue agitating Taiwan with fighter jet flyovers. (DC / VFI News)
REMEMBRANCE DAY: 43 FALLEN IDF SOLDIERS IN THE PAST YEAR: A total of 43 deaths were added to Israel’s list of fallen soldiers between the previous Remembrance Day until now, the Defense Ministry announced on Friday morning, with another 69 disabled persons dying as a result of injury in defense services.
Major ceremonies at the Western Wall, the National Hall for Israel’s Fallen in Mount Herzl, and at Yad LaBanim Memorial Center in Jerusalem are set to take place on Remembrance Day Eve, Tuesday, April 13. However, this year attendance will be restricted to Green Pass holders. Only people with a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery will be allowed to attend the ceremonies, and only 5,000 people will be allowed to attend the Western Wall ceremony. During Remembrance Day, bereaved families will be allowed to visit the cemeteries without COVID-19 limitations. (JPost / VFI News)
IRANIAN SHIP USED AS REVOLUTIONARY GUARD BASE NEAR YEMEN ATTACKED ‘BY ISRAEL’: An Iranian cargo ship believed to be a base for the Revolutionary Guard has been attacked.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the Tuesday attack on the MV Saviz, which has been anchored in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen for years. The assault, which is suspected to have been carried out by Israel, came as Iran and world powers sat down in Vienna for the first talks about the US potentially rejoining a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran and others. ‘Fortunately, no casualties were reported … and technical investigations are underway,’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement. ‘Our country will take all necessary measures through international authorities.’ (DM / VFI News)
REPUBLICANS DELAY REINSTATED ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO PALESTINIANS: Congressional Republicans put a hold on $75 million of the newly reinstated US aid to the Palestinians, two sources in Washington confirmed on Thursday.
On March 26, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) sent Congress a “program narrative” of about $75m. in Economic Support Funds (ESF) for programs in the West Bank and Gaza that would begin 15 days after the notification was received. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), used their respective positions as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to stop the USAID’s notification about the reinstated funding from reaching the committees, which means the aid will not start on April 10 as planned. The USAID programs for the Palestinians include roads, sidewalks, bus lots, emergency preparedness, adapting to climate change, “community initiatives” and “safe spaces to engage in community initiatives.” (JPost / VFI News)
‘MAY PRINCE PHILIP’S MEMORY BE A BLESSING’: Israeli officials expressed their condolences after the British Royal Family announced the death of 99-year-old Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth, on Friday.
“My deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to HM Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Prince of Wales, the Royal Family, and the people of the United Kingdom” tweeted President Reuven Rivlin, adding: “May his memory be a blessing.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed his “Condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world.” (JPost / VFI News)
HEALTH MINISTRY WEIGHING PERMITS TO ALLOW TOURIST GROUPS BACK INTO ISRAEL: The Health Ministry is considering issuing permits for the first tourists to enter Israel in over a year, a senior health official said Friday.
The unnamed official told the Kan public broadcaster that the initial stage of the plan would probably allow organized tour groups, such as Birthright, to enter the country. Health officials thought that it would be easier to monitor for any possible outbreaks if the travelers were in official, authorized groups, the report said. (TOI / VFI News)
RED SEA ON THE BRINK OF ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE: [CAIRO] The Red Sea has been flirting with environmental disaster for six years, ever since Houthi rebels seized control of the FSO Safer, floating storage and offloading vessel for petroleum moored north of the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.
Last year it began to leak. Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the de facto president of Yemen, in a tweet congratulating the Egyptian government on the reopening of the Suez Canal last week, warned of a greater crisis if the deteriorating 44-year-old vessel loses hull integrity. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff