Israel News for 9-25-2019
In a meeting scheduled for Thursday evening at the President’s Residence, PM Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz will brief the president on the progress of negotiations for the formation of a unity government between the two parties. The two parties are set to meet for a second time tonight.
But unless there is meaningful progress in the negotiations, it looks likely that the president will give Netanyahu the opportunity to form a coalition government later tonight, since the PM has the support of 55 votes vs 53 for Gantz.
Some of the major issues dividing the 2 camps are Gantz’s insistence on serving as PM first in a rotation and Blue and White’s positions on promoting civil marriage, allowing supermarkets to open and public transportation to operate on Shabbat in certain cities, and passing a bill for the drafting of Haredi men. Likud is firmly against all of these.
Yair Lapid, the number 2 in Blue and White, has reportedly said that he will not, under any circumstances, sit in a government led by Netanyahu.
The final official election results were presented to the president yesterday, and it turns out that Likud gained an extra seat, lifting it to 32, at the expense of UTJ, which went down from 8 to 7. The new results don’t change the overall balance of power, since UTJ is already part of Netanyahu’s base of support.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly yesterday, US President Trump urged countries to battle extremism and stressed that there must be normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, addressing the assembly, said, “The immediate establishment of an independent Palestinian state with homogeneous territories, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the only solution. Any other peace plan will never be implemented.” He also called Israel one of the most racist countries in the world, and in a private meeting with supporters compared Israeli actions in Gaza to Nazi genocide.
[Turkey is a member of NATO]
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A new hospital, funded by private American money and approved by the Israeli government, is being built in northern Gaza near the Erez crossing.
It will be built on a 160-acre plot and is expected to house 16 medical departments, serving the population of the Gaza Strip and providing for the first time locally, treatment that had necessitated traveling outside the enclave to Egypt, Israel or the Palestinian Authorities’ hospitals.
Israel said that this and other projects to improve the lives of Gaza residents as long as the relative calm on the Israeli-Gaza border continues.
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