Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-3-2020

News Update

The Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the United States and Israel, including those relating to security. Abbas also said he had refused to discuss the peace plan with President Trump by phone, or to receive even a copy of it to study it. Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo said the plan did not meet the minimum aspirations of Palestinians, and that the League would not cooperate with the United States in implementing it.

The Palestinians however did tell CIA Director Gina Haspel, who secretly traveled to Ramallah last Thursday, that they will continue to exchange intelligence information with the CIA.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called on its 57 member states to oppose the Trump peace plan.

Al-Jazeera reported on Sunday that militants bombed a part of the gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt, located in the Bir al-Abd region in the northern Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The Egyptian energy ministry confirmed the attack but said that the flow of natural gas in the pipeline is continuing.

The Health Ministry has issued a directive ordering anyone who recently entered Israel after having visited China, or those who came in close contact with anyone who recently visited China, to quarantine themselves for a period of at least 14 days in either a place of residence or in a medical facility.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) reaffirmed Israel’s credit rating at AA- over the weekend, despite Israel’s political turmoil. S&P projects that “Israel’s diversified and resilient economy will expand by an annual average of 3%” until 2023, thanks to the strong employment market, the start of operations at Israel’s largest gas field Leviathan, and the country’s gas export. Government debt is expected to pick up slightly due to fiscal deficits, before “fiscal consolidation measures are fully implemented in 2021 and beyond.”

Long term growth, however, could be lower due to structural challenges of the Israeli economy, such as its housing and transportation problems, and the low participation in the employment market and low skill levels of minority groups such as ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and Arab women.