David, Tamar most popular Jewish baby names in Israel
Jewish babies in Israel in 2018 were most likely to be named David for boys and Tamar for girls, JTA reported, citing Central Bureau of Statistics Data.

Boys were named David 1,447 times, while there were 1,289 Tamars, which is the most common girls name for the third consecutive year. The next most- common names were Ariel for boys and Maya for girls.

Muhammad remained the most common name for newborns in Israel, mainly among Muslim boys. The most common name for Muslim girls was Miriam.

Israeli, Swiss postal services join forces to solve technology issues  Both the state-owned Israel Postal Company and the Swiss Post are joining forces in the search for startups that can help solve technological issues facing both services, JNS.org reported.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced July 31 that Israeli entrepreneurs, developers and startups can propose improvements to postal services, such as package returns, deliveries, unstaffed stores, customs and robotics.

After a screening and selection process by Israel Post, the entrepreneurs will be able to present their ideas to the management teams of both postal services in early September. Companies selected will participate in pilot projects with Israel Post and the new Israel Post innovation center being built in Tel Aviv. Projects chosen by the Swiss Post will undergo a similar process.

Israeli weapons seizures approach 4,000 in first half of 2019
Israeli police reported that 3,661 weapons were confiscated, while 2,704 people were arrested for crimes related to shootings in the first half of 2019, JNS. org reported.

“Police operations were conducted across the country as a result of quality intelligence and undercover operations,” the police statement said.

Weapons confiscated included pistols, explosive devices, grenades and automatic weapons such as high-powered submachine guns. Ammunition also was confiscated.

Spanish delegation leader barred entry to Israel
The Israel Security Agency barred the leader of a Spanish delegation headed for the Socialist International annual conference on July 25, calling him a security threat, JTA reported.

Lebanese-born Fouad Ahmad Assadi, who is the son of Palestinian refugees, was detained at Ben Gurion International Airport, questioned by the security agency, barred from entering the country and returned to Spain.

Assadi was scheduled to lead the Spanish delegation at the conference, which took place in Tel Aviv and Ramallah in the West Bank.

Assadi told Haaretz that he has lived in Spain for 40 years, but said a recent visit to Syria may have triggered security concerns. He said he had visited Israel in the past. The security agency told Haaretz that Assadi has been barred from Israel before but did not explain why.

Man arrested for trying to steal chickpeas

A Bedouin man was arrested July 21 after trying to steal about 1,000 pounds

of chickpeas from southern Israeli crop fields, The Times of Israel reported.

After receiving a call about a vehicle leaving the area of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which is near the Gaza Strip, police found the abandoned car loaded with chick- peas. The unnamed suspect was arrested afterward. The Times of Israel article said police have been criticized in the past for inactivity against agricultural crimes.

Israel open to U.S. politicians

Israel’s Washington, D.C., envoy Ron Dermer said that the Jewish state won’t deny entry to any congressional member.

Dermer was responding to speculation about whether Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who both back BDS, would be permitted into the country. Both have indicated they may visit Israel this summer.

“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer said via spokesman.

In recent years, Israel adopted a law reserving the right to deny entry to Israel boycott advocates. JN

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