The Trump administration has backed Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The move comes weeks before Israeli general elections and reverses the position U.S. administrations have held for decades. President Trump made the announcement via tweeter Thursday. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed the territory, a move not recognized by the U.S. or the international community. For years, the U.S. has tried to broker a regional agreement that would involve Israel exchanging captured territory for peace.
Israel’s attorney general announced Thursday that his office plans to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges after a two-year investigation. The prime minister faces one count of bribery and three counts of breach of trust. With elections just six weeks away, Netanyahu called the prosecution’s announcement “outrageous” and an “unprecedented witch hunt” carried out by his liberal opponents.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has touched off rare criticism from AIPAC, the largest U.S. pro-Israel lobby, over an election alliance with a far-right party loyal to the policies of the late anti-Arab rabbi, Meir Kahane. Faced with a new merger of centrist parties that opinion polls show might defeat him, Netanyahu engineered the deal between Jewish Power and another ultranationalist faction, Jewish Home, on Wednesday. Netanyahu has defended the merger as a way to improve his chances of forming a right-wing governing coalition led by his Likud Party, to serve for a fifth term after the April 9 vote.
Poland on Monday withdrew from a European summit in Jerusalem, derailing the meeting and embarrassing its Israeli hosts, to protest claims by Israel’s acting foreign minister that Poles collaborated with the Nazis and “suckled anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk.” The abrupt cancellation marked a new low in a bitter and long-running conflict between Poland and Israel over how to characterize Polish actions toward its Jewish community during World War II. Tuesday’s meeting of the leaders of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic — known as the Visegrad group — was to be the first time the summit has been held outside of Europe.
Israel has called Airbnb’s decision to withdraw listings in the West Bank ‘shameful.’ The company claims the decision was made because the removed settlements were ‘at the core’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The statement released on Monday said the decision will affect around 200 listings. Critics say the decision is an act of corporate anti-Semitism.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned following the cabinet’s decision to accept a ceasefire with Palestinian militants. Lieberman said the decision was ‘surrendering to terror.’ The ceasefire came after two days of violent fighting which led to the deaths of eight people. Lieberman’s resignation pushes Israel’s government into chaos and toward an early election.
The new US embassy is set to open in Jerusalem on Monday. US officials say the embassy’s move will increase regional stability despite breaking from decades of American policy and international practice. The move has sparked heavy criticism from Palestinian territories. At least Sixteen Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops among thousands of demonstrators gathered at the Gaza border ahead of the event.
Israel passed a controversial bill on Thursday, declaring Israel a national homeland for Jewish people and prioritizing Jewish-only communities. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition enacted the law defining the right of national self-determination as ‘unique to the Jewish people’ and not all citizens. Critics fear the law will lead to blatant discrimination against Palestinian citizens.
Israeli police announced, Tuesday, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged in bribery cases. Police claim there is enough evidence to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in two separate cases. Netanyahu responded to the allegations, speaking on Israeli television, saying the allegations are baseless and ‘will end with nothing.’
Israeli warplanes struck dozens of Iranian military targets inside Syria early Thursday bursting the tense shadow war between Iran and Israel into the open. Israel claims it struck almost all of Iran’s military capabilities in Syria after what it says was an Iranian missile attack on the Golan Heights. In a YouTube statement Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran had “crossed a red line,” and that Israel’s action was appropriate.