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Israel

Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Google reassigned its global diversity lead Kamau Bobb after his antisemitic comments from a 2007 blog post resurfaced.

On Thursday, the Alphabet Inc (Nasdaq: GOOGL) subsidiary said that Bobb apologized for his remarks but will no longer be part of the diversity team. Instead, he will work in STEM education at the company.


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Isaac Herzog, a veteran politician and the scion of a prominent Israeli family, was elected president Tuesday, a largely ceremonial role that is meant to serve as the nation’s moral compass and to promote unity.

Herzog is set to become Israel’s 11th president after securing 87 votes in a secret ballot among the 120 members of the Knesset, or parliament. He will succeed Reuven Rivlin, who leaves office next month at the end of a seven-year term.


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Secretary of State Antony Blinken took off for the Middle East on Monday to press the Israelis, Palestinians and regional players to build on and strengthen last week’s Gaza cease-fire, start an immediate flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and lay the groundwork for an eventual resumption in long-stalled peace talks.

President Joe Biden announced that he was dispatching Blinken to the region for what will be his administration’s highest-level, in-person talks on the crisis that erupted earlier this month. The White House said later that Biden had spoken to Egypt’s president, one of several leaders Blinken will meet on his trip, to underscore the importance of getting assistance to Gaza.


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Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday, halting a bruising 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip, brought life in much of Israel to a standstill and left more than 200 people dead.

At 2 a.m. local time, just as the cease-fire took effect, frenzy life returned to the streets of Gaza. People went out of their homes, some shouting “Allahu Akbar” or whistling from balconies. Many fired in the air, celebrating the truce.


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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Wednesday to press ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, pushing back against calls from the United States to wind down the operation that has left hundreds dead.

Netanyahu’s tough comments marked the first public rift between the two close allies since the fighting began last week and could complicate international efforts to reach a cease-fire. His pushback also plunges the pair into a difficult early test of the U.S.-Israel relationship.


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A rocket launched from Gaza killed two Thai workers in southern Israel on Tuesday, police said, hours after Israeli airstrikes toppled a six-story building in the Palestinian territory that housed bookstores and educational centers. With the war showing no sign of abating, Palestinians in the region staged a general strike in a rare collective action against Israel’s policies.

Violence erupted at protests in the occupied West Bank, including in the city of Ramallah. Hundreds of Palestinians burned tires and hurled stones at an Israeli military checkpoint. Troops fired tear gas canisters at the crowd, and protesters picked up some of them and threw them back.


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Palestinians grabbed their children and belongings and fled neighborhoods on the outskirts of Gaza City on Friday as Israel unleashed a heavy barrage of artillery fire and airstrikes, killing a family of 6 in their home. Israel said it was clearing a network of militant tunnels ahead of a possible ground invasion.

Israel has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants have fired some 1,800 rockets, and the Israeli military has launched more than 600 airstrikes, toppling at least three high-rise apartment buildings, and has shelled some areas with tanks stationed near the frontier.


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A stampede at a religious festival attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in northern Israel killed at least 44 people and injured about 150 early Friday, medical officials said. It was one of the country’s deadliest civilian disasters.

The stampede began when large numbers of people thronged a narrow tunnel-like passage during the event, according to witnesses and video footage. People began falling on top of each other near the end of the walkway, as they descended slippery metal stairs, witnesses said.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) is seeking more details following reports from Israel of heart inflammation cases among people who received the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the German startup and Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE).

On Wednesday, BioNTech’s chief executive officer Ugur Sahin said the cases appeared to be anecdotal and that monitoring by public health officials in countries including the US and Germany showed no unusual side effects or similar symptoms.


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One of the world’s best-known human rights groups said Tuesday that Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution because of discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within its own borders and in the occupied territories.

In a sweeping, 213-page report, the New York-based Human Rights Watch joins a growing number of commentators and rights groups who view the conflict not primarily as a land dispute but as a single regime in which Palestinians — who make up roughly half the population of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza — are systematically denied basic rights granted to Jews.