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THE WEEK AHEAD: Moscow court to discuss Jewish Agency closure demand, jellyfish swarm Israel’s shores and a new vaccination campaign for children is underway

Here are the stories we are watching...

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar during the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020. (Photo: Sputnik/Alexei Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS)
  • Jewish Agency case goes to Russian court

  • The aftermath of an Israeli attack in Syria

  • Vaccination campaign for children under 5

  • Monkeypox alert

  • Jellyfish swarm Israeli beaches


Moscow is expected to hold a preliminary court hearing Thursday on the Jewish Agency’s operations in Russia. On July 15, the Russian Justice Ministry demanded the Agency cease its activities in the country because of “violations of Russian law,” which allegedly include collecting information about Russian citizens and transferring the data.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said closing the Jewish Agency would be a "grave event" that could impact diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Moscow and instructed a legal delegation to be ready to depart for Russia.

Israel believes the crackdown is politically motivated, following Israeli criticism of the Russian onslaught on Ukraine.

The Jewish Agency is a semi-governmental international organization, which is responsible primarily for facilitating aliyah, Jewish immigration to Israel. The Agency pursues the aim of ensuring global Jewish safety and strengthening the connection of Jews to Israel. More than 16,000 Russian Jews have made aliyah since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, according to the Jewish Agency.


Israel’s delicate relationship with Russia also plays out in Syria, where the Israel Defense Forces has been coordinating its operations against Iranian targets in Syrian territory with Russian forces. 

Last Friday, Syrian media reported that at least 10 people were killed in separate Israeli and Russian strikes. This week, the IDF will maintain readiness for potential, though rare, repercussions. According to the Syrian Defense Ministry, the Israeli raid killed three Syrian soldiers and wounded seven others near Damascus. The Al-Arabiya network noted that the Syrian bases that were attacked have hosted Iranian forces, who take their orders from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran. 

Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on such targets since the Syrian civil war began. Their main goal has been to prevent Iran from smuggling precision-guided missiles and missile-defense technology to Hezbollah and other militias.


Israel launches a new COVID-19 vaccination campaign this week aimed at children 5 and younger. The Health Ministry stressed that children, toddlers and infants with pre-existing conditions should be vaccinated.

Parents can choose between Moderna and Pfizer shots, which the ministry believes are safe to administer to the younger age group. Only about 25% of Israeli children between 5 and 11 have been vaccinated so far, according to local data.  


Israel is preparing for the potential spread of monkeypox, after the World Health Organization declared the disease a global emergency. Israel’s Health Ministry announced that 5,000 vaccination doses will arrive this week, followed by thousands more over the next month. At-risk populations will receive the shots first. Around 105 Israelis have been infected with monkeypox so far.


High summer temperatures keep drawing many visitors to Israel’s beaches but also hordes of jellyfish, which have been swarming the coastline since last week. Experts say the jellyfish will stay for awhile, maybe until August. This year, the jellyfish were quite late to arrive in the area but showed up en masse.

Although most jellyfish concentrate offshore, some bathers do get stung, and experience burning and discomfort. Footage released by Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, of a boat in the Haifa Bay surrounded by jellyfish, has gone viral. The clip shows the boat surrounded by thousands of white spots, even a few hundred meters deep underwater.  

This week we are also keeping an eye on these developing stories:

  • ... Why did Hezbollah arrest a Lebanese Maronite archbishop upon his return from Israel?

  • ... What should America learn from Israel, and vice versa? Ben Shapiro has an answer

  • ... Is Israel operating freely in Tehran? An Iranian lawmaker thinks so

  • ... Will Nikki Haley run for president in 2024? The former U.N. ambassador drops a hint.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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