Israel News for January 17, 2017

New Law
The Knesset yesterday passed a law that recognizes verdicts by military courts in the West Bank as admissible evidence in legal procedures in Israeli civilian courts. This is expected to Israelis much and time and money when suing Palestinians in Israeli courts, who have already been convicted in military courts in the West Bank.

Opposition members blasted the new law as the first step in annexing the West Bank. The Attorney General had also warned that the law could have severe international repercussions as it could be a violation of international law.

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Drone Crash
An IDF Skylark drone crashed in southern Lebanon yesterday, near the Israeli border. The IDF is investigating the circumstances of the malfunction that caused the drone to crash. The Lebanese army is searching for the drone.

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Corruption Scandals
There are several investigations and potential investigations into various corruption allegations relating to PM Netanyahu. The PM denies all of the allegations and nothing conclusive has been made public by police, nor have nay charges been filed. So until there’s something conclusive to announce, we’re going to leave this whole affair on the back burner. No sense speculating about things that might not be true, right?

Car Share
The Tel Aviv municipality is getting into the car rental business…sort of. The municipality announced today a plan for a car-sharing venture called Autotel in which 260 cars will be distributed around the city and will be available to be rented by the minute.

Autotel will be a subscription service available any Israeli resident or tourist. Tel Aviv residents will get a special digital card that will give them automatic discounts on usage fees.

The service will be ordered through a special app that will display to the subscribers a list of the available vehicles in their proximity, and enable them to order a car up to 15 minutes in advance. Monthly subscriber fees will be NIS 40-50. The per-minute rate has not yet been set, but the municipality said that it would be 30-40% cheaper than taxi rates.

Subscribers will receive an electronic card that will open the cars. Another option is to type a code in the app. The car can be taken from where it is parked and parked at a another location in the city, in contrast to current carsharing ventures, which require that the vehicle be returned to the location from which it was taken.

The municipality will allocate 520 special parking spaces. The cars will also be allowed to park in spaces on the city streets with blue and white markings and even in space reserved for people living on that street.

A telephone assistance center will operate 24 hours a day to handle any technical problems with the service or the cars. The service will be available in Hebrew and English.

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Jonah Tomb
Did you know that the what is traditionally believed to be the tomb of the biblical prophet Jonah is located in the Iraqi city of Mosul? In 2014 ISIS blew up the shrine when they conquered the city. Now Iraqi forces have retaken the tomb in their offensive to reconquer Mosul. According to the biblical account, Jonah travelled to Nineveh, which is located on the outskirts of Mosul, to warn its residents to repent. Apparently, they could use a refresher.

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Israel Books
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