Israel Roundup — Trials, Touchdowns, and Talks

  • Indictment proceedings will not interfere with the term of Netanyahu
  • UAE and Israel continue to broaden their relations
  • The PLO and Hamas are determined to stop the peace accords

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be able to remain in office even when his corruption trial starts in January. This was the decision of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday. This is on the condition that Netanyahu will refrain from interfering with law enforcement appointments and actions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his visit to the Middle East in Bahrain.

The trial will consist of three hearings a week. Mandelblit noted that there are two crises facing the country to consider: the Coronavirus and the strain between the two branches of the government.

Israel has begun selling plane tickets from Ben Gurion Airport to the United Arab Emirates. UAE national airlines is selling plane tickets to Israeli citizens. The first flight ever of an Israeli airline to Abu Dhabi was taken by an Israeli delegation including White House special adviser Jared Kushner. The flight was flown on El Al airlines, bearing an Israeli flag, and making the journey over Saudi Arabian air space.

Bahrain is expected to be the next Gulf Arab nation to formally normalize ties with Israel. They are expected to announce the move after the signing of the peace treaty between the UAE and Israel, which is scheduled to occur in mid-September, before the Jewish New Year.  

Bahrain told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it is not in a hurry to go in with the UAE until Israel has settled its disputes with the Palestinians. They want a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem the capital.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said Wednesday that that the Israel–UAE normalization accord represents a step toward regional peace by preserving Palestinian rights and Israel security. The Palestinians have condemned it as betrayal of their cause. Sisi, in a phone call to Netanyahu, said that he would be glad to help in any way toward stabilization of the region to bring peace to the Middle East.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had an unusual personal meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, in Gaza. The Palestinian leader said that they will try to seek an end to the division between them.

They both are strongly determined to stop Israel aggression and to work against any normalization efforts by Arab countries. Also attending the meeting were representative of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Fourteen senior members of the main Palestinian factions were present.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with Hamas and PLO factions.

Syria claims to have intercepted missiles fired from an Israeli warplane on Wednesday. They said that an Israel warplane had fired a number of missiles at T4 air base and most of the missiles were intercepted. A Britain based Syrian human rights organization confirmed the attack.

Roni Gamzu, the Coronavirus Czar appointed by the Department of Health, has divided Israel into four sections according the severity of their spread of Coronavirus. Each section will be given their quarantine regulations, which will begin on Tuesday.

This will include the number of people who will be allowed to pray together in Synagogues or gather outside for prayer. The number of infections continues to rise, despite all the precautions. Also, deaths are recorded each day approaching 1,000.

Despite the Coronavirus, the scheduled pilgrimage to Ukraine for New Year prayers by Breslov Chassidim will go on, but the Ukrainian government will require their visitors to obey their Coronavirus regulations. Many people have attempted to attend, but were not allowed to enter Ukraine when flights were cancelled. Despite the regulations, several hundred have already successfully reached their destination. 

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.

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