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Gantz Begins 28 Day Mandate to Form Government

ICEJ News Briefs

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24 Oct 2019
Gantz Begins 28 Day Mandate to Form Government
Israel’s political process continued on Wednesday evening as Blue and White leader Benny Gantz formally accepted the mandate to form a government during a brief ceremony at the President’s Residence. A few hours later at midnight, the clock started ticking on a 28-day period during which Gantz will attempt to form a governing coalition and avoid a third Knesset election that no one wants but which many analysts have said appears to be highly likely.

“Those who try to drag Israel to a third election will be rejected by the people of Israel and will disappear from the political map,” Gantz said, in an apparent reference to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The citizens of Israel will not forgive those who put their own personal good first, ahead of the national interest.” Referring to the ongoing criminal investigations against Netanyahu, Gantz pressed on saying “both of us realize that your legal situation necessitates making a change.”

“I will form a government that will seek peace but will defeat any enemy,” he concluded.

Trump Announces End of Sanctions on Turkey
US President Donald Trump declared during a White House press conference on Wednesday that he was ordering the lifting of economic sanctions against Turkey in response to its compliance with a cease-fire deal negotiated between Ankara and Moscow earlier this week. He also said that the countries of the Middle East must do more to police their own region. “It's their neighborhood, they have to maintain it,” he said.

Here is the video of his full remarks

Iran Criticized for Executing Minors
Javaid Rehman, an independent expert who has been investigating the human rights record of Iran’s security apparatus on behalf of the UN, told a meeting of the Human Rights Committee on Wednesday that the security forces of the Islamic Republic routinely carries out the death penalty against minors. His report noted that there are currently 90 individuals in Iran who are imprisoned on a death sentence despite being under 18 years of age at the time of their offense. He also reported on a variety of other human rights abuses by Iranian officials and security forces against their own citizens.

Tensions Continue to Escalate in Lebanon
Aging Lebanese President Michael Aoun gave a televised address to his countrymen on Thursday in an attempt to blunt massive street protests which threaten to upend its delicate political and sectarian balance and plunge it once more into civil war. The Lebanese Armed Forces were continuing their policy of remaining neutral in the standoff although the ground forces have been mobilized and deployed to several cities in an effort to discourage rioting and also, according to statements by some officers, protect protesters from efforts by Iranian-backed militias to intimidate and/or attack them.

Archeologists Display Artifacts from Byzantine Church
Archeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority uncovered the remains of a Byzantine church at a dig near the modern Israeli city of Beit Shemesh recently. Inscriptions and intricate floor mosaics at the site identify it as the “Church of the Glorious Martyr” and indicate that it was visited by thousands of pilgrims annually during the late 5th Century AD, following its construction in the middle of that century.

“The vision of the Bible Lands Museum is to provide a cultural, educational and experiential facility that connects the visitors who cross its gates to the roots of the past,” commented Director Amanda Weiss of the Bible Lands Museum, which is currently hosting an exhibit from the site.  “We are delighted by our partnering with the IAA, which allows us to present the impressive findings unearthed at the Church of the ‘Glorious Martyr’ with the help of thousands of volunteers and youth.”

Today's video shows a panel discussion on the 25th anniversery of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan


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