In Brief: Two-thirds of Israelis disapprove of Netanyahu’s handling of covid crisis

Sixty-five percent of Israelis believe Benjamin Netanyahu is responding poorly to the coronavirus crisis, a poll released this week shows. The Channel 12 News survey found only 31 percent of Israelis approve of the prime minister’s handling of the crisis, which has seen the country forced into a second lockdown. The poll also indicated that[…]

In Brief: Israeli cabinet approves full national lockdown

The Knesset’s coronavirus cabinet has agreed to a three-week national lockdown in Israel as cases continue to spike. The decision came ahead of the Jewish high holy days while Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya is said to be overwhelmed and turning away new covid-19 patients. On Sunday, Haredi Minister Yaakov Litzman resigned from cabinet, telling[…]

Analysis: Israel and Bahrain normalise relations as historic UAE agreement is signed

In the third announcement of its kind in as many weeks, the Israeli and Bahraini Governments announced the normalising of relations. This follows a similar agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and two Balkan states.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu traveled to Washington DC for a four day trip to be part of the[…]

In brief: Police clashes as anti-Bibi protests enter eleventh week

  Last Saturday, about 20,000 protesters gathered outside Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem. With parallel gatherings held outside Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea and at over 300 bridges and major intersections nationwide, the demonstrations are in their eleventh consecutive week. Activists are calling on the prime minister to resign in light of his ongoing[…]

In brief: Two former Yugoslavian states pledge to open Jerusalem embassies

Having originally refused to recognise the independence of Kosovo, Israel has struck another deal of diplomatic firsts. The Jewish state is to recognise Kosovo, which will open an embassy in Jerusalem – the first Muslim country to do so. Its neighbour Serbia will move its embassy to Jerusalem by July 2021. The deal announced by[…]

Analysis: Netanyahu under pressure during second wave lockdowns

Having hailed victory over coronavirus back in May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now embarrassed and appearing indecisive over his response to the second wave hitting the Jewish state. Israel operates a four part traffic light system based on the number of new patients per 10,000 residents, ‘red’ being most severe and ‘green’ being[…]

Analysis: The historic Israel-UAE deal: what next?

  The United Arab Emirates is to become only the third Arab state – following Egypt and Jordan – to agree to the full normalisation of relations with Israel. The surprise, but historic, announcement of the move last month will have an important impact on the Jewish state’s efforts to broker stronger ties with the[…]

In Brief: Likud party “approaching bankruptcy” as it fires staff and sells assets

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is “approaching bankruptcy”, a former official has told the Jerusalem Post. The party is believed to be firing staff, facing huge debts to the banks and suppliers, and considering selling assets. The Likud, which has led Israel’s government since 2009, is believed to have been hit hard financially by the country’s[…]

Analysis: Israel’s anti-Bibi protests grow in size 

  Thousands of Israelis joined demonstrations calling for Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation on Saturday night. An estimated 10,000 people rallied outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem – the largest gathering yet since the wave of protests started six weeks ago. There were also demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Haifa, outside Netanyahu’s villa in Caesarea,[…]

In Brief: Netanyahu believed angling for new elections as budget deadline nears

Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to be angling to dissolve his newly formed “unity government” and plunge Israel into new elections – the fourth in just under 18 months. The prime minister and his centrist coalition partner, Benny Gantz, are locked in an increasingly acrimonious dispute over the budget which some speculate Netanyahu is using as[…]