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Western Wall Rail Station to be Named After Trump in Jerusalem DC (David's City)

By World Israel News & VOA News

A new train station that will be built next to the Kotel, the Western Wall, will be named after President Donald Trump, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz stated. "The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to call the train station that leads to it after President Trump following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel." .
The Yediot Ahronot daily reported that Katz approved construction plans for the train, which will include a tunnel from a station at the entrance to Jerusalem to the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, only a short distance from the Western Wall.

In May, Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall. In a highly anticipated gesture, Trump secreted a note in a crack between the weathered, massive 2000-year-old ashlars of the Kotel.

The plan, which Katz advanced at a recent meeting with Israel Railway executives, calls for an extension of Jerusalem's soon-to-open high-speed rail line to the Western Wall and the construction of a new station.

The proposal is likely to draw opposition from the international community, which does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over east Jerusalem and the Old City, an area within modern Jerusalem. The eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, was acquired by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967.

The Palestinians want Jerusalem and the Old City, where Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites are located, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. And digging tunnels to the Western Wall would involve excavating near archaeological remains, leading to possible legal and logistical problems.


Iran Declares Jerusalem the `Everlasting Capital of Palestine'

By World Israel News

On Wednesday, the Iranian parliament voted 207 to 0 to recognize Jerusalem as the Palestinian's permanent capital, the Iranian Fars news agency reported.

The Islamic Republic's lawmakers took the step just three weeks after President Donald Trump announced that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and intends to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The outcry from Muslim and Arab countries was immediate following the announcement, producing a United Nations (UN) resolution condemning the US' decision.

The Iranian parliament advanced its pro-Palestinian motion "in response to the recent US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in hopes of dealing a blow to Muslims," said speaker Ali Larijani according the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

The Hamas terrorist organization recently confirmed Iran's commitment to helping it fight Israel, with Hamas' Gaza-based leader, Yahya Sinwar, claiming that senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani had placed all of Iran's military "capabilities and potential" at Hamas' disposal "in the battle for the defense of Jerusalem."

While US recognition resulted in several "days of rage," during which Palestinian leadership urge the masses to commit violent acts against citizens of the Jewish state, Israel reacted by declaring that a light rail station near Jerusalem's Old City would be named after the American president.

Netanyahu Warns Iran, Hamas of 'Tremendous Firepower' of Israeli Air Force

By IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Iran and Hamas against acting against the Jewish State, which has the strongest Air Force in the region, with the ability to reach targets at all distances.

"The Air Force is at its peak today, with the best tools, technologies, planes and pilots in the world. With defensive and offensive capabilities and tremendous firepower, the Air Force has the ability to reach short distances and faraway destinations as required," Netanyahu said at an Israel Air Force Flight Academy graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim Air Base outside of Be'er Sheva.

Thirty-six officers, including one woman, received their wings after graduating from the three-year long prestigious IAF Flight Academy on Wednesday. We are meeting major challenges in the north, in the south and in the east. On all the fronts there are centers and branches of radical Islam that have already caused a heavy calamity in our region, but not our country. We are an island in this stormy region and have a clear policy of protecting our security," he continued.

Turning to the threat on the northern border, Netanyahu warned that Israel "will not allow the forces of the Iranian army to establish themselves in Syria in order to harm us. We will prevent the production of accurate and lethal weapons aimed at us."

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concern over the growing Iranian presence on its border and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hizbullah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are red lines for the Jewish State.

Israel has carried out at least 100 strikes targeting Hizbullah militants, weapons convoys and infrastructure in Syria since January 2013 and dozens more, including a recent strike on an Iranian base outside the Syrian capital of Damascus, have been attributed to the Jewish State.

In a message to leaders in the Gaza Strip Netanyahu said that it is up to them whether there will be a state of calm on Israel's southern border. Dozens of rockets were launched from the Hamas-run enclave since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, leading the IAF to strike some 40 Hamas targets in the Strip.

"We want the population to live its life quietly and calmly, but it is up to Gaza to decide whether there will be a state of calm in Gaza. We will not allow or tolerate an escalation from Hamas or from any other terrorist element. We will use all means to defend Israel's sovereignty and security."

Addressing the graduates, Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen.Norkin said that they would be joining a team that has been operating on five fronts in recent months. The Air Force he said, "expresses the aerial power that effectively fulfills Israel's strategic goals" and will continue to receive advanced weapons to retain its place in the forefront of aerial technology.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who noted that the ceremony took place 35 years after the start of the First Lebanon War, said that the technological breakthroughs Israel has seen over the past decade have changed all the conventional understandings that existed.

The IAF, he said, "has become one of the best and most advanced air forces in the world. If, God forbid, another war erupts in the north, the result will be much more impressive. In the coming years we are going to face some challenges we have never dealt with before."

Addressing the new graduates, Norkin implied that they too would be required to operate behind enemy lines. "Your friends are flying the planes that have been striking in the Middle East in recent months, demonstrating initiative and creativity. It won't be long before you will operate behind enemy lines too. I know I can trust you."

Turning to the only woman pilot and to a religious graduate, Norkin said: "It's not the order that guides them, but the values they were raised on at home, the contribution to the state's security. That's what they see before their eyes. This is the face of Israeli society in all its glory."


Report Finds That Unemployment in Israel at Historic Low, Wages Rising

By Israel Hayom

Employment and salaries have risen, and unemployment rates have fallen to a historic low over the past year, according to a new report released by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel. "The increase in employment rates, together with the rise in the average wage, have led to an impressive rise in consumption in recent years and to an increase in the standard of living," the report said.

However, it pointed out that "many industries still suffer from low productivity and wages." It said per capita growth in Israel is low compared to other countries and that despite the overall improvement in the economy in 2017, "prices in Israel are still among the highest in the OECD countries."

The report pointed to an impressive increase in the integration of ultra-Orthodox men and women in the workforce. Between 2008 and 2013, the percentage of haredim ages 23 to 30 in the workforce rose by nine points, more than for any other sector, to 73% for haredi women and 36% for haredi men.

Dr. Eitan Regev, who wrote the chapter about employment in the ultra-Orthodox sector, said the findings show that "the most influential factor regarding haredi youth's employment is the decision to find a job.

"In other words, in today's job market, those who are interested in finding work will usually find it, but this choice is influenced by haredi youth's earning capacity, which is usually very low due to the fact that they did not have core studies in high school. When choosing between a religious way of life and being supported by stipends, and integration into the job market, the fact that the wages they can earn are low is very significant," he said.

Gilad Brand, one of the report's authors, said there was no "one right answer" to the issue of increasing workforce productivity in Israel. "Productivity is a kind of black box and one of the topics that economists know relatively little about. Economic research suggests that there are several important factors that policymakers should consider, such as improving regulation. According to international indices, Israel has unusual excess regulation and a relatively low volume of trade. Moreover, human capital can improve substantially."

Meanwhile, global financial services giant Credit Suisse published its economic forecast for the first quarter of 2018, saying it expects Israel's gross domestic product to continue showing steady growth.


Court Orders Facebook to Put Popular Israeli Page Back Online

By YnetNews.com

"Statusim Metzayitzim" (Tweeting Statuses in Hebrew), one of the most popular Israeli pages on Facebook, was supposed to go back online Sunday, almost three years after it was taken offline by the social media giant, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled last week.

In a significant decision last Sunday, Facebook, which unilaterally removed the page without warning, was also ordered to pay the two owners of the page NIS 225,000 to cover their legal fees. Facebook took the page offline in January 2015, claiming it published sponsored content in violation of its terms of service.


The page's two owners—Avi Lan and Adi Bentov—sued Facebook in response, with their lawyer Guy Ophir arguing the page was "an inseparable part of their identity. Facebook did not bother to warn them that they were allegedly violating the terms of use, did not bother seeking clarifications from them regarding this issue, and did not have direct dialogue with the plaintiffs," according to a statement in the lawsuit.

In its defense, Facebook claimed that "the terms of management of pages, which are part of the terms of use, forbid page managers from including in the pages or promoting using the pages third-party products, brands or sponsors without the explicit permission of Facebook."

Facebook went on to say that "The plaintiffs admitted in their suit that they charged, over the period of five years, significant payments to different elements for publishing content on the page. The plaintiffs also admit to violating Facebook's terms of use, which forbid inclusion of advertising on the social media without advanced authorization."

While Judge Rahamim Cohen determined that "there cannot be a real disagreement over the fact that the plaintiffs violated the terms of use," he also cast doubt on whether the violation constituted such a serious breach that justified the page's closure. "The question is whether this is a fundamental breach or not. In light of all that has been said and in accordance with the events under discussion, it cannot be determined that this is `a fundamental breach' of the contract between the sides."

He also stressed that the removal of the page "seriously harmed the plaintiff, whose lives' work has gone down the drain whereas for Facebook, the damage can be financially compensated." Regarding the removal of the page, the judge wrote: "It is not a reasonable stance that all the conditions, without exception, are fundamental and therefore the contract can be immediately nullified due to every breach.

"Wide use of power granted by Section 14 to Facebook, which allows it to unilaterally close pages without prior warning, will also prevent a genuine and thorough clarification of the breach of the contract as has been claimed, which requires communications between Facebook and its users, before the closure of the pages."

In response to the ruling, Facebook wrote to the Supreme Court informing it of its intention to appeal the verdict and asked that it be delayed until the appeal is discussed.


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