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Netanyahu Trial Set to Begin on 17 March

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19 Feb 2020
Netanyahu Trial Set to Begin on 17 March
The Spokesman’s Office for the Jerusalem District Court announced Tuesday afternoon that incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust will commence on 17 March, just two weeks after the Knesset elections. The trial will be held before a panel of three judges Blue and White leader Benny Gantz reacted to the news by saying it was a sad day for the country, but added that it was necessary for Netanyahu to accept his inevitable removal from power because being on trial meant that he would not have time to run the country. “Netanyahu will deal only with himself,” Gantz said. He cannot take care of the citizens of Israel. Do you want a prime minister who goes on trial? Netanyahu will go on trial and we will take over.”

Later in the afternoon, in an interview to Channel 20, Netanyahu challenged Gantz by saying “Let’s have a televised debate. We’ll talk to the public without teleprompters.”

Here is a video giving some analysis of the political scene in Israel ahead of the elections

Regional Military Buildup Intensifying
Israeli defense companies are increasing their sales and cooperative activities with the Indian military and its domestic defense industry, with several large contracts being signed in recent months. The cooperation is seen as an important strategic asset for the Jewish State as its neighbors are making similar moves with traditional great powers in Europe and Asia.

Turkey’s military announced this week that it is going on a shopping spree for armed UAV’s and kamikaze drones, trainer helicopters, gunships, naval vessels and air-defense radars and missiles. Much of the equipment it is seeking will be produced by Turkey’s domestic defense industry, with the rest being procured from established industries in Europe and Russia. In related news, Egypt is reportedly in negotiations with Italian industrial conglomerate Fincantieri to buy two FREMM-class frigates and other naval platforms.

“The equilibrium is changing in the Mediterranean since the U.S. is effectively now absent and the European Union members are not unified,” said Gabriele Iacovino, an analyst at the International Study Center in Rome.

New Homes Planned in Eastern Jerusalem
The Housing Ministry filed a request recently for the construction of 9,000 Israeli homes in the Atarot area of eastern Jerusalem, according to a press statement by activist groups opposed to settlements. The proposal must be approved, in a process which can take several years, before construction can even begin.

Heavy Winter Rains Fill Mikvah Baths
Near-daily downpours of rain in central Israel have had the effect, among other things, of filling up ritual baths used by Jewish pilgrims visiting Jerusalem during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The pools “date back to the early Roman period, or late Second Temple period, but were used later as well,” Dr. Yonatan Adler, a visiting associate professor at Yale University and an expert in ancient ritual baths, told the Jerusalem Post. “Mikvehs were not necessarily connected to Jerusalem, people immersed themselves for ritual purity all over. We have uncovered around 1,000 ritual baths around the country. However, most of them were built in villages or next to other facilities such as vineyards. These two pools are in the middle of nowhere except for the main road to the city.”

“We have two flairs of stars and two doorways leading to the mikveh, separated by a wall. We think that this was meant to separate those who were going down to immerse and were still impure from those coming up already pure,” the archaeologist explained.

Israel Blesses the World
Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa announced this week that they have refined their technological methods and hardware to a point where they can now produce drinkable water from the vapor in the air, including in desert areas. “Our technology turns water into a commodity as it enables water to be produced anywhere in the world without being dependent upon existing sources of liquid water,” said Prof. David Broday, who developed the technology with Prof. Eran Friedler. “The new technology involves cooling of only the moisture that has been extracted from the air, significantly reducing the amount of energy required to produce water.”

Here is a video about their invention