Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Israel After the 2015 Elections: What Does Netanyahu’s Victory Mean for U.S. Policy?, CRS Insights (March 24, 2015)

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Israel After the 2015 Elections: What Does Netanyahu’s Victory Mean for U.S. Policy?, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Israeli Knesset elections held on March 17, 2015, were a subject of significant interest for the United States. The leading candidates openly differed on how to manage disagreements with the United States and the international community on various matters, though how that might have translated into substantively different policy stances is unclear. The timing and manner of official Israeli statements and actions influence regional and international attitudes and developments, and may shape how the Obama Administration and Congress work together and with Israel on these issues.

Israel’s politics in the run-up to the elections

March 12, 2015 Comments off

Israel’s politics in the run-up to the elections
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

In December 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called early national elections, scheduled for 17 March 2015, after dissolving the coalition arrangement underpinning the government formed after the January 2013 elections. Differences on Palestinian issues and budgetary matters, between Netanyahu, of the right-wing Likud party, and centrist parties in his coalition, reportedly contributed to the decision. Israel’s positions on a host of regional security and socioeconomic issues could be influenced by the election results.

Jerusalem: Recent Israeli-Palestinian Tensions and Violence, CRS Insights (November 20, 2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Jerusalem: Recent Israeli-Palestinian Tensions and Violence, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The status of Jerusalem and its holy sites has been a long-standing issue of political and religious contention between Jews and Muslims. Recently, tensions have intensified owing to various factors, including:

+ Efforts by some Israelis, including an anticipated Knesset bill, to emphasize Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount (known by Muslims as the Haram al Sharif or Noble Sanctuary) and to gain greater Jewish access to and worship permissions on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif (“Mount/Haram”), which have elicited negative reactions from Palestinians and other Arabs.

+ Various indications of direct or tacit Israeli official backing for greater Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, including via announcements relating to construction of Jewish residential housing that is widely opposed internationally.

+ A spiraling pattern of unrest and violence, including attacks and security responses that have killed or injured Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and some Arab communities in Israel.

New Comparative Law Report — Approval of Medical Devices

November 14, 2014 Comments off

Approval of Medical Devices (PDF)
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report describes the approval process for medical devices in the European Union and fifteen countries, and also indicates whether or not an expedited approval procedure is available. Many of the countries reference EU law, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Israel more readily approves devices with a CE mark (indicating approval in the EU) or an indication that they are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In many nations, particularly those influenced by the EU, part of the review process is conducted not by the government but by private, independent organizations called “notified bodies.” These organizations are designated by EU Member States.

In most of the countries in the survey, medical devices are categorized based on the risks associated with their use, and the approval process varies by category. For example, in the United Kingdom, manufacturers of low-risk devices may register with the government agency and simply declare that the devices meet the requirements to be approved. Devices classed as higher risk must undergo more detailed review, by a notified body.

On the question of an expedited approval process, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland permit some sort of rapid review in particular cases, often when a device is required for an individual patient and no substitute is available. Mexico has provided for more rapid approval of devices if they have already been approved in either Canada or the United States. No such procedure exists at present in Brazil, France, Israel, the Russian Federation, or the United Kingdom. The Russian Federation did have a rapid approval system in place prior to August 2014. Germany provides for temporary approval of devices in limited circumstances. South Africa is now considering draft legislation that would include expedited procedures in specified situations.

The U.S.-Turkey-Israel Triangle

November 7, 2014 Comments off

The U.S.-Turkey-Israel Triangle
Source: Brookings Institution

The confrontation between Israel and Hamas during the summer of 2014 deepened tensions between Israel and Turkey. Now, in the fall of 2014, U.S.-Turkish relations are strained over Turkey’s role in the fight against ISIS, while gaps between the United States and Israel over policies on Iran and Palestine serve as points of friction in the relationship. Clearly the U.S.-Turkey-Israel triangle has suffered many setbacks in recent years on all sides, but the Turkish-Israeli relationship has suffered the most, as it has been in a state of semi-paralysis for the last four years.

Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction, CRS Insights (September 30, 2014)

October 8, 2014 Comments off

Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system—along with other Israeli measures such as an early-warning and sheltering system—has been widely credited with protecting the country’s civilian population from projectiles fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. During the summer 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas and other Gaza-based militants (which Israel refers to as Operation Protective Edge), many lawmakers praised the performance of Iron Dome. On August 1, Congress passed H.J.Res. 76, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (P.L. 113-145), which appropriated an additional $225 million in FY2014 funds for Iron Dome. This brings total U.S. defense appropriations for Iron Dome since FY2011 to $929.3 million. For more information on Iron Dome, see CRS Report RL33222, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel; and CRS Report RL33476, Israel: Background and U.S. Relations.

Significantly Updated CRS Report — Israel: Background and U.S. Relations (July 31, 2014)

August 6, 2014 Comments off

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The initial section of this report provides information and analysis on the July 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.


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