Israel News for 1-8-2020
PM Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to stand with the US against Iranian aggression. Yesterday Iran fired 15 missiles at bases that house US troops in Iraq. There are no reports of US casualties, or any other casualties. But the expectation is that President Trump will respond to the attack.
Rain continues to fall in northern Israel, causing major flooding in many cities and towns, especially in Nahariya. The Kinneret has risen 22 centimeters in the past few weeks alone. It is still 3 meters below full capacity.
Despite the political turmoil and upcoming elections (for the 3rd time in a year), Knesset members voted to raise their salaries by 2.8%. MK pay was increased by NIS 1,232 ($354) per month to NIS 45,251 ($12,992), and government ministers pay increased to NIS 50,623 ($14,535) per month. The President and PM also got pay raises. The average national salary is approximately NIS 11,000, roughly one quarter of what lawmakers earn. Some MKs, including Avigdor Lieberman, declined to accept the pay raise.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said that his party would not join with any other parties in the upcoming election. This comes after Gantz met with Labor leader Amir Peretz.
Polish President Andrzej Duda said that he will boycott a ceremony in Israel marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp because he has not been invited to deliver a speech. He added that he does not approve of the fact that representatives of Russia, France, Britain, Germany and the United States will be able to speak at the event while Poland won’t be able to. President Reuven Rivlin has invited Russian President Putin to be the key speaker at the event. In a recent speech Putin accessed the Polish leadership of colluding with Hitler during WWII. This has raised tensions between the two countries.