14 Days: Jerusalem Inscription

The news of the past 14 days.

Archaeologist Danit Levi (photo credit: IAA)
Archaeologist Danit Levi
(photo credit: IAA)
JERUSALEM INSCRIPTION
Archaeologist Danit Levi dusts off a 2,000-year-old limestone column chiseled with the Hebrew inscription, “Hananya Bar Dudolos from Yerushalayim,” believed to be the oldest reference to Jerusalem. Unveiled at a news conference at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on October 9, it was found in an IAA dig at an ancient village near the Jerusalem International Convention Center at the entrance to the city.

HAMAS FUEL
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced on October 13 a suspension in the supply of fuel to Gaza following violent riots along the Gaza-Israel border the day before. Hamas announced a week before that Qatar’s delivery of diesel fuel for the power plant in Gaza via Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing was agreed in the context of efforts to reach a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Seven Gazans were killed and dozens wounded after some 20,000 protesters threw rocks, grenades, firebombs and other incendiary devices at IDF troops.
HALEY RESIGNATION
Upon hearing the announcement on October 9 by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to step down at the end of the year, Israeli leaders praised her steadfast support for Israel during her two-year tenure. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Haley for leading “an uncompromising stand against hypocrisy at the UN and for the truth and justice of our country,” while President Reuven Rivlin lauded her for “tearing away the cynical smokescreen that masked the United Nations and international organizations.”
STUDENT BARRED
The High Court of Justice was set in mid-October to rule on the appeal by University of Florida student Lara Alqasem against Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s decision to bar her entry into Israel due to her alleged involvement in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities. Alqasem, who had planned to study for a year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was detained at Ben-Gurion Airport under a law passed by the Knesset in 2017 allowing authorities to deny entry to leading figures in the BDS movement. The Hebrew University said it “regrets the decision,” while Deputy Minister Michael Oren said it caused “political damage” to Israel.
MIGRANT DEPORTATION
Israel will continue to deport African migrants who illegally enter the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Likud conference in Tel Aviv on October 9. “The peace treaty recently signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea can accelerate the removal of infiltrators from Israel,” he said. According to the Population and Immigration Authority, there are some 40,000 African migrants in Israel, most of them from Eritrea.
JORDAN’S ENVOY
Jordan’s new ambassador to Israel, Ghassan Majali, arrived in Israel on October 9 and presented his credentials to the Foreign Ministry.  Majali’s arrival came a month after Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, Amir Weissbrod, presented his credentials to King Abdullah II. The exchange of ambassadors resumes formal diplomatic ties between the two countries that were suspended after a shooting incident at the Israeli Embassy compound in Amman over a year ago.
FIRE TRAGEDY
Two children, Efrat Ginsburg, 4, and her 2-year-old brother, Zvi, died in a fire that gutted their second-floor apartment in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem, on October 9.  Firefighters rescued their three siblings, their babysitter and other residents of the building before extinguishing the blaze, believed to be ignited by a night light that exploded.
NEW GOVERNOR
Prof. Amir Yaron, 54, a professor of banking and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, will succeed Dr. Karnit Flug on November 12 when she completes her five-year term as governor of the Bank of Israel.  The appointment was announced at a news conference in Jerusalem called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on October 9.