September 2016, Jerusalem. At the funeral of former president and prime minister Shimon Peres, U.S. President Barack Obama offers a tissue to Peres’ son Chemi. (all photos from Ashernet)
In reviewing the Jewish year 5777, one name stands out – Binyamin Netanyahu. Despite having to fend off accusations of various wrongdoings at home, the Israeli prime minister has had a successful diplomatic year.
This year, Israel welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi’s visit marked the first time since the foundation of the state of Israel that a sitting Indian prime minister had visited. Meanwhile, Netanyahu was warmly received by China in March and, a month prior to that, by Australia. Closer to home, he established good relations with Greece and Cyprus.
In September 2016, Israel bade a final farewell to former president and prime minister Shimon Peres. His funeral was attended by many sitting and former heads of state, including former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Last December, the Israel Air Force received its first F-35 fighter plane from the United States. In January, settlers in the West Bank outpost of Amona fought with police following a court order that declared Amona an illegal Jewish settlement.
On Jan. 8, four people were killed when a released Arab prisoner ran a truck into a group of people on the Armon Hanatziv Promenade in Jerusalem. This act of murder was referred to as the “truck intifada.” In Gaza, Hamas activists handed out sweets in celebration. This method of terror was soon to be repeated many times in countries all over the world.
At regular intervals during the year, announcements were made concerning important archeological finds all over Israel. Israeli law states that the Israel Antiquities Authority must be notified as soon as there is indication of archeological remains and that, only after specialist examination and, if necessary, excavation, can the development proceed.
The year also saw the celebration of the 50th year since the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six Day War ( June 1967).
It has been an outstanding year for Israel’s high-tech sector. In particular, 2017 saw the largest business deal in Israel’s history when Mobileye was bought by Intel for some $15 billion.
The Jewish year ended with a bit of confusion, as the region once again became unsettled as Iran attempts to get a stronger foothold in Syria, along with their continued efforts to arm Hezbollah.
November 2016. A serious fire breaks out near Latrun in the Jerusalem corridor following yet another dry, hot summer. Some 140 firefighters are needed to bring the blaze under control.
November 2016. A high school student taking part in an organized excavation in Yehud, near Ben-Gurion International Airport, finds a 3,800-year-old jug from the Middle Bronze Age, seen here during its restoration.
December 2016, Jerusalem. Left to right: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hold historic tripartite talks to improve cooperation between the three eastern Mediterranean countries.
December 2016. The first of 50 F-35 stealth fighters arrive in the Israel Air Force base in Nevatim. The IAF was the first air force outside the United States to receive this state-of-the-art fighter plane.
January 2017. Four pedestrians are murdered in Jerusalem’s East Talpiot neighbourhood by a truck driven at speed; 13 others are injured. The terrorist is shot dead by police.
February 2017. Following a High Court ruling, the illegal Jewish settlement of Amona, 20 kilometres north of Jerusalem, is forcibly evacuated by police and security forces. The court ruled that the settlement had been established on Palestinian-owned land.
February 2017. Some ultra-Orthodox riot over government insistence that all able-bodied young men be drafted into the army. While heads of many Charedi yeshivot have encouraged their students not to report to induction centres, there are many Israel Defence Force units that have ultra-Orthodox soldiers in their ranks.
February 2017. Binyamin Netanyahu is the first incumbent Israeli prime minister to officially visit Australia. The picture shows Netanyahu and his wife Sara at the Sydney Jewish School of Moriah.
March 2017. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Netanyahu, together with a business delegation, made the visit to China to expand trade between the two countries.
March 2017. Mobileye is bought by Intel, but the headquarters of the company will remain in Jerusalem. Left to right are Amnon Shashua, Eli Cohen, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Brian Krzanich and Ziv Aviram.
May 23, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump, seen here with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, made Israel one of the first overseas countries he visited since becoming president.
May 2017. On May 20, Jerusalem was illuminated to celebrate the 50th year of the city’s reunification following the Six Day War.
July 2017. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, becomes the first sitting Indian prime minister to officially visit Israel. Accompanied by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Modi meets with Moshe Holtzberg, 10, who survived the terrorist attack that killed Moshe’s parents and seven others at Mumbai’s Chabad House in November 2008.