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What You Need To Know Right Now About Israel

  • Israel has been experiencing exceptionally hot and dry weather with strong easterly winds. While this phenomenon is common for this time of year, its severity right now is rather unusual with temperatures in many populated regions reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). As a result of this, many significant wildfires fires have broken out, some threatening homes in towns and villages in Judea and the foothills of Jerusalem. Ben Gurion International Airport has been experiencing difficulties with reduced visibility due to smoke from the fires. Arab terrorists in the Gaza strip were quick to exploit the weather by launching into the Gaza envelope incendiary balloons and setting fire to adjacent fields and natural brush forests.
  • Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu faction in the Knesset has been giving PM Netanyahu fits in the coalition negotiations that must conclude next week. While the main issue in dispute remains the so-called Draft Law, which codifies in law the special status of the ultra-Orthodox haredi community when it comes to being drafted into the IDF, a senior Likud party official expressed the opinion that Lieberman simply does not wish to join the new Netanyahu government and is using the draft law controversy as an excuse not to do so. Netanyahu can form a majority coalition without Israel Beitenu, but it would enjoy the support of only the bare majority of Knesset members, 61 out of 120, making governing difficult. At this point it appears that this is indeed what will happen, with Lieberman possibly joining the government at a later date or supporting it as he sees fit from the opposition.

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