National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visited the Temple Mount yesterday, Tisha B’av, commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temple, both of which were destroyed on the same date. He said, “This is the most important place for the people of Israel where we need to return to show our governance.” Over 2,000 other Jews also visited the mount. A spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Jerusalem responded to Ben-Gvir’s visit saying, “the US stands firm in preserving the historical status quo in relation to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Any unilateral action or rhetoric that endangers the status quo is unacceptable.” The Palestinian Authority, Jordan Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all condemned the visit, calling it an “attack” and “assault” against the Moslem holy sites located on the Temple Mount.
According to a Yediot Aharonot report, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) is working on forming a unity government that would include the Yesh Atid and National Union parties in place of the Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties. Gallant reportedly said that he would consider resigning as Defense Minister in order to for a unity government.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Thursday signed a framework agreement with Ivory Coast in the fields of agriculture, water and technology. Cohen had led a business delegation of a variety of Israeli companies in the fields of cyber, agriculture and energy to the Israel-Ivory Coast Economic Forum. On Wednesday, he visited Ghana, where he met with President Nana Akufo-Addo and opened the first Israel-Ghana business forum.
Credit rating agency S&P published a special report on Israel’s economy in which it complimented the strong Israeli economy, but warned against the consequences of the changes promoted by the government in the legal system. It said, “In the short term, we anticipate that the political uncertainty, together with weak economic performance by Israel’s allies in Europe and the United States, will reduce economic growth in Israel in the next two years.”