Weekly News Summary: January 25th-31st

Deal of the Century Released:
US President Donald Trump released his plan for peace between Israel and Palestine on Tuesday. “The Deal of the Century” had already been rejected by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas before it was released. After its release, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his election-opponent Benny Gantz said they would accept the plan. 

Because the plan allows Israel to keep all of its settlements without having to meet any conditions, Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he plans to propose to the Knesset a plan to annex all of its current settlements. This green-light for annexation marks a 180-degree reversal from previous US Administrations, which have always insisted against it.

In exchange for allowing Israel to keep all its settlements, the plan promises a Palestinian state. However, there are many preconditions to such a state that the Palestinian government would have to meet, such as ending terrorism and recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. 

Naama Issachar freed from jail in Russia:
On Wednesday, Israeli teen backpacker Naama Issachar, who was in jail in Russia since April 2019, was pardoned by Russian President Vladamir Putin. Issachar had been sentenced to 7-years in jail after being caught with 10 grams of cannabis in her luggage while traveling through Moscow. Last week, Russian President Vladamir Putin had met briefly with her mother, Yaffa Issachar, at the Wold Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem and spoke cryptically about her release, assuring her that “all will be OK”. The plight of Issachar had become a national issue in Israel.

Netanyahu indicted:
On Tuesday, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit filed an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The indictment comes after months of investigation and hearings, and immediately after Netanyahu canceled his request for immunity which had been pending a Knesset vote, but was doomed to fail due to the current makeup of the Knesset. The indictment is for charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust.