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Netanyahu Promises to Annex Settlements After Election

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5 Feb 2020
Netanyahu Promises to Annex Settlements After Election
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a Likud rally in Beit Shemesh on Tuesday night, saying that his earlier statements in favor of annexing the settlement communities in the West Bank were still in effect but implementation of any plan would need to wait, at least, until after the elections scheduled for 2 March. “When we win, we will continue making history,” Netanyahu said. “When we win, we will extend sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.”

In other political news, the Knesset House Committee voted on Tuesday to grant immunity from prosecution to Likud MK Haim Katz, making him the first MK to be granted immunity since the law making it a theoretical possibility was passed 15 years ago. The motion must still pass the Knesset plenum and if it does it is certain to be challenged by Katz’ pollical opponents in Israel’s Supreme Court. Katz was indicted late last year on charges of 

Iran Convicts Journalists for ‘Spreading False News’
The clerical regime which rules Iran has convicted editors of three news outlets, including the semi-official ISNA, of “defamation and spreading false news”. Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for NGO The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement saying "If the Iranian government has a credible case against the editors of ISNA, NeftEMA, and Bultannews, they should try them openly and publicly. Closed-door trials of journalists cannot be considered fair or impartial." He added that the Iranian judiciary had "a history of holding opaque judicial proceedings that lack credibility."

Here is a video giving further insight into the current situation in Iran

Israel and the US Improve Military Ties
Israeli Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennet was at the Pentagon Tuesday to meet with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper. The meetings reportedly focused on continued cooperation between the two countries as well as the threat from Iran. Also on Tuesday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines who are visiting Israel with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).

“Israel has no better friend and ally than the United States," Rivlin said. "The unbreakable bond between us is based on our shared democratic values and our shared security interests. Our military cooperation is important not only for the security of Israel and the United States, but for the entire Middle East." He added that this cooperation is "especially important as Iran continues to spread terror throughout the region, and to take steps to advance its nuclear program. As we continue to face the threats from Iran and its proxies today, including the terrorist organizations in Gaza, we also look to the opportunities and challenges of the future.”

Finally, Israel-based defense industrial conglomerate D-Fend Solutions was selected this week by the US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to provide the EnforceAir c-UAS (counter unmanned aerial system) to defend US forces against the threat of attacks by cheap, commercially available drones carrying explosives or other weapons.

IDF Strikes Terror Targets in Gaza
Israel’s Air Force struck several targets in the Gaza Strip affiliated with the Islamist terror militia Hamas Tuesday evening. The strikes were in retaliation for a barrage of rockets fired into Israel earlier in the evening as well as a large increase in the number of balloon-born explosive and/or incendiary devices sent over the border into Israel from the Strip in recent weeks.

Israel Among World’s Most Expensive Countries
CEOWORLD magazine published a list ranking countries around the world on cost of living, with Israel ranking a worrying 8th place. Countries where it is less expensive for citizens to pay their bills include Singapore, Hong Kong, France and the US. The rankings are based on five major metrics: cost of living, rent, groceries, eating out and purchasing power.

Today's video gives some insight into rising tensions in the Mediterranean Sea region