14 Days: Netanyahu chosen

Israeli news highlights from the past two weeks.

 Likud head MK Benjamin Netanyahu is seen receiving the mandate to form Israel's next government from Israeli President Isaac Herzog. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Likud head MK Benjamin Netanyahu is seen receiving the mandate to form Israel's next government from Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)


President Isaac Herzog invited Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form Israel’s next government on November 13, paving the way for him to take the premiership for the sixth time and extend his 15-year record as the nation’s longest-serving leader. The move came after 64 members of the 25th Knesset, who were sworn in on November 15, recommended Netanyahu as premier. Netanyahu was given 28 days to form a new government, with the possibility of a 14-day extension. “I intend to be the prime minister of everyone – those who voted for me and those who didn’t vote for me,” he declared.


Three Israelis were killed and three seriously wounded on November 15 when a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing and car-ramming rampage starting in the Ariel Industrial Park and ending on Route 5. The victims were all married with children: Tamir Avi-hai, 50, a father of six; Michael Ledigin, 36, a father of two, and Moti Ashkenazi, 59, a father of three. The IDF said the terrorist, Muhammad Souf, 19, was shot dead by security forces. Meanwhile, Shalom Sofer, 63, a resident of Kedumim, died on November 7, two weeks after being wounded in a terrorist stabbing attack outside a Palestinian store in Al Funduq, near Kedumim. He is survived by his wife, five children and grandchildren. The Palestinian assailant was arrested, the IDF said.



The UN decolonization committee adopted a draft Palestinian resolution on November 11, urgently requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory.” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki welcomed the vote, noting that 98 countries had supported the resolution, 52 abstained, and 17 voted against. Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said that by calling for the involvement of the ICJ, “the Palestinians are decimating any chances of reconciliation.”


Israel announced it will not cooperate with a new FBI investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin on May 11, saying it had concluded in September after a thorough investigation that she was most likely hit by “unintentional fire” from an IDF soldier during a counter-terrorism operation. “IDF soldiers will not be interrogated by the FBI or by any foreign body or foreign country, no matter how friendly,” said outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid.


After Israel reached an agreement with FIFA and Qatar for direct charter flights from Ben-Gurion Airport to Doha for the World Cup, the Cypriot airline Tus began the first of six return flights on November 20. The Foreign Ministry recommended that the thousands of Israelis who purchased tickets for the games download its new TravIL app, which has emergency phone numbers and other information for Israelis traveling abroad. Meanwhile, Amnesty International urged FIFA to “blow the whistle on labor abuse in Qatar,” demanding compensation for the thousands of migrant workers who had “suffered to make World Cup 2022 happen.”


Walter Bingham, 98, was honored by the International March of the Living at a ceremony on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. The event took place on November 9 near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. “The slogan for tonight everywhere is ‘Let There Be Light’ because the world is getting darker for the Jewish people in the Diaspora,” Bingham said upon being presented with a crystal plaque “for your heroism in the Holocaust and in the field as a soldier in the British Army and for your activism on behalf of the people and State of Israel.”