The UN Security Council met for an emergency session on Thursday to discuss National Security Minister Ben Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount earlier this week. At the session, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya compared Ben-Gvir’s visit to that of Ariel Sharon’s in 2000 which helped spark the Second Intifada. He called on “both sides to show restraint and avoid unilateral provocations.” The Chinese ambassador said that Beijing was worried about rising tensions following the visit.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said, “There is absolutely no reason that this emergency session should be held. To hold it on a non-event is truly absurd. Why are we holding an emergency session for something as simple as a Jew walking to the holiest site in Judaism?” He added that with all the actual events going on throughout the world, there was clearly a double standard relating to Israel.
Israel freed Karim Younis, 60, who was convicted of kidnapping and killing IDF soldier Avraham Bromberg in the Golan in 1983. Younis completed serving his 40 year sentence. He received a hero’s welcome in his hometown, the Israeli Arab village of Ara. Younis said, “I am very proud to be one of those who made sacrifices for Palestine and we were ready to sacrifice more for the sake of the cause of Palestine.” On Tuesday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri called for Younis to be stripped of his Israeli citizenship.
Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday discussed motions challenging Aryeh Deri’s appointment to a ministerial role in the new government, despite his previous criminal convictions. The motions opposing Deri’s appointment were filed soon after the law allowing a convicted felon to serve in government was proposed. Known as the “Deri Law,” it stipulates that as long as sentencing is suspended and no actual jail time is involved, it would not disqualify someone from serving.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara declared her opposition to Deri serving in government, and wrote a 77-page dissenting argument to that effect, in which she called Deri’s proposed appointment as “extremely unreasonable.” However, she also said that the motions should be rejected outright as the court has no authority to intervene in this proposed legislation, and added that the prime minister should be able to defend the appointment.
Deri, in his role as deputy Prime Minister, will fill in for the Prime Minister for a few minutes today, while Netanyahu undergoes a routine colonoscopy.
A specially constructed Israeli version of the US President’s Air Force 1 plane will be placed into service. The plane, called Wings of Zion, will be the official aircraft of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and may also be used for state visits by President Herzog.