President Reuven Rivlin has given PM Netanyahu the mandate to form the next government. Rivlin said, “I know the position held by many, that the president should not give the role to a candidate that is facing criminal charges, but according to the law and the decision of the courts, a prime minister can continue in his role even when he is facing charges.”
Netanyahu’s opponents have begun efforts to block him from the premiership, with Yisrael Beitenu filling legislation proposals on term limits for prime ministers and barring an indicted member of the Knesset from serving as prime minister.
The PM now has 28 days to form a coalition of at least 61 seats. He so far has 52, including Likud (30), Shas (9), UTJ (7) and Religious Zionism (6).
Just to refresh your memory, the final election results were:
Likud – 30
Yesh Atid – 17
Shas – 9
Blue & White – 8
Yamina – 7
Yisrael Beitenu – 7
United Torah Judaism (UTJ) – 7
Labor – 7
Meretz – 6
New Hope – 6
Joint Arab List – 6
Religious Zionism – 6
Ra’am – 4
The 24th Knesset was sworn in yesterday, while the PM’s corruption trial continues.
IDF troops conducting a raid in the village of Bir Nabala early Tuesday shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to ram them with his car. His wife, who was in the car with him, was also wounded.
A covert Iranian military intelligence ship in the Red Sea was hit and damaged by mines stuck to it. The New York Times reported Wednesday that Israel informed the United States it had struck the Iranian vessel. Israeli officials declined to comment on the attack.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit Israel next week for meetings with PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. He will be the first cabinet level member of the Biden administration to visit Israel.
Sudan’s Cabinet voted on Tuesday to repeal a 1958 law that forbade diplomatic and business relations with Israel.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised upwards Israel’s growth forecast for 2021 from 4.1% in its January forecast, to 5%. The IMF sees inflation rising to 0.7% in Israel in 2021, about half that of most OECD countries, and predicts that unemployment will fall in Israel to just 5% by the end of the year, and to 4.6% in 2022.