Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-11-2019

News Update

A bill to dissolve the Knesset is expected to pass today and set March 2, 2020 as the date of the unprecedented third round of elections within a 12-month period. Recent polls show another deadlock between the left and right after the new elections are held. The only solution seems to be a unity government between Likud and Blue and White (BW), but BW leader Benny Gantz refuses to sit in a government led by a PM who is under indictment (Netanyahu). That’s why Gideon Sa’ar, Netanyahu’s main rival for the Likud party leadership, claims that if he is elected Likud leader, a unity government will be formed. Likud will be holding its election for party leader on December 26.

While Netanyahu is not legally required to step down after being indicted, Israeli law is unclear about whether he could be given authority to form a new government after the next election. The Attorney General will have to rule on the matter, if need be, and then there will most likely be court challenges, in either direction.

Satellite images have revealed that Iranian forces in Syria are building a massive tunnel along the Syria-Iraq border through which they intend to smuggle weapons, including missiles, and militants. The digging of the tunnel is overseen by the Al-Quds Division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

U.S. President Trump will sign an executive order today that will treat “Jewishness” as a nationality and not just a religion, making anti-Semitism subject to a law that bars discrimination on the basis of national origin at educational institutions that receive federal funding. The new law will consider anti-Israel activities as anti-Semitism, and is aimed at colleges and universities.

A 9 person Israeli medical team is heading to the Pacific island state of Samoa to help fight a deadly measles outbreak that has already claimed 63 lives since October.

Israeli retail drug store chain Super-Pharm is opening a new chain called Daily, through which it will market freshly prepared food for the first time. The first branch will be opened in the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange area in the second quarter of 2020, and the second in the commercial part of the Azrieli Sarona Tower in Tel Aviv. The new stores will be half the current standard size of Super-Pharm branches, and will have a department in the front part of the store with freshly prepared food such as salads, sandwiches, and pastries; a toiletries department; and a pharmacy. The cosmetics featured in regular Super-Pharm branches will not be sold in the new stores.