Daily News Summary: Gantz given mandate, Israeli drone shot down in Lebanon, and 1,500 year old church discovered near Beit Shemesh

News Summary

Gantz given 28 days to form a government:

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz was formally given the mandate to form a government today by President Rivlin. Gantz will have 28 days to complete the task. He stated that he intends to reach out to “all sectors of society” and warns Prime Minister Netanyahu that the country will not forgive him if he drags the country back to a 3rd election out of personal interest. 


Preparing for an Iranian attack:

Israeli Army radio reported that Israel is preparing for possible retaliatory attacks from Iran due to the ongoing IAF attacks on Iranian outposts in Syria. 


Joint List Head ready for talks:

MK Ahmad Tibi stated that his party would be ready for talks with Blue and White and stressed that his “community approves of outside support for a coalition government.” The Joint List leadership has met multiple times with Blue and White in the past few weeks, but the party leader stressed that because of the many conflicting interests they most likely would only provide outside support rather than join a coalition with Gantz. 


IDF drone reportedly shot down in Lebanon:

The IDF and Lebanon’s MTV News station both confirmed that an IDF drone crashed in Lebanon on Wednesday, near the border with Israel. The IDF did not comment on what caused the drone to crash, but MTV News claimed it was shot down. An accompanying video reportedly from the scene shows the drone hovering in the air when a crack sounding like gunfire can be heard followed by the drone falling from the sky. The IDF reports that the drone was on a routine surveillance mission on the Israeli-Lebanon border.


Group of soldiers arrested for alleged assault:

Fourteen soldiers were arrested by Israeli military police for an alleged assault on Bedouin workers at a gas station. The soldiers are part of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, which has had a slew of incidents over the past year. The battalion is a religious battalion created to allow ultra-orthodox to serve without compromising their religious beliefs. However, members of the battalion have been convicted in the past of beating, torturing, and abusing Palestinians and even of killing a Palestinian at a checkpoint unprovoked.

Byzantine Era church Uncovered near Beit Shemesh:

A 1,500 year old church dedicated to the “glorious martyr” is been on covered near Beit Shemesh. The church is a unique find as it boasts a complete crypt, mosaics, and two staircases. To read more click here.