Weekly Summary: Top Things to Know from November 23rd-29th

News Summary

Jordan’s military simulates a war with Israel: Jordan conducted a military exercise on November 25 that simulated a war with Israel. The exercise featured a Jordanian battalion and took place on Jordanian training grounds. The exercise was observed by King Abdullah and senior Jordanian officials. Photos of the event included King Abdullah and fellow officials observing the event behind a map of Jordan and Israel’s border on the dead sea, with flags presumably symbolizing the movement of forces – flags for Jordan, and flags for Israel.

No more terrorist bodies handed over: Defence Minister Naftali Bennett announced this week that Israel would cease to return the bodies of terrorists to Gaza or the West Bank. The decision, however, must be approved by the High Court before enacted. The decision has faced mixed support among government officials and human rights organizations. 

Two rockets shot from Gaza: On Tuesday two rockets were shot from Gaza towards southern Israel, breaking the 9 days of silence between the two areas. One rocket was intercepted by the iron dome while the other landed in an open field. In response, the IDF conducted an airstrike on a Hamas outpost in Gaza. 

Israel deports Omar Shakir: The director of Israel/Palestine Human Rights Watch, Omar Shakir, was deported on Monday after a ruling was pronounced by the Israeli High Court. Shakir had been an open supporter of the BDS movement, which was the basis of the court’s decision. 

Helping Albania: Israel Rescue and Service teams are assisting recovery efforts in Albania. The country was struck by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Monday, which left at least 26 dead and 650 injured. Dozens are still missing. Israel joins over a dozen countries that are helping the rescue efforts.

Israel likely headed for third elections: Israel is likely heading to its third election in less than a year. It is looking increasingly unlikely that they can be avoided. 

Netanyahu, meanwhile, faces challenges within his own party, as some party members, including his chief rival Gideon Saar, push for primaries to be held immediately. 

Moshe Ya’alon, a leader for Blue and White, says that no unity with Netanyahu is possible unless he is acquitted of the pending bribery and breach of trust charges against him and that otherwise, unity with Likud can only happen without Netanyahu.

In polls, Likud fares worse without Netanyahu than with him, and Likud’s primary polls show him leading Saar 53% to 40%.

Israeli inventions honored: Time magazine chose 9 inventions from Israel to include in their list of top 100 inventions of 2019. The inventions include a personal robot and a device that collects drinking water from the air. 

A Swiss-Lebanese businessman’s good deed: Abdallah Chatila, a Swiss-Lebanese businessman purchased a collection of items formerly belonging to Hitler and donated them to Yad Vashem. He reportedly spent over 600,000 Euros securing the items at a recent auction. The auction was considered controversial, and the European Jewish Association had tried in vain to prevent it. 

The Conference of European Rabbis thanked Chatila for his act by giving him a shofar at an event on Tuesday.