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Netanyahu Returns Mandate to Form Government

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22 Oct 2019
Netanyahu Returns Mandate to Form Government
Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with President Reuven Rivlin on Monday evening shortly after the end of the Simhat Torah holiday, informing him that he was unable to form a governing coalition and formally returning the mandate he had received to do so nearly four weeks ago. On Tuesday morning, Rivlin announced that he was giving Blue and White leader Benny Gantz an opportunity to form a governing coalition and manoeuvring by the factions which made it into the 22nd Knesset began almost immediately thereafter.

"I hope and believe that we will be able to create a basic infrastructure that everyone can connect to," Gantz said on Tuesday morning. "If everyone will know to give up a little bit, everyone will have a lot more room together."

Lebanon Erupting in Popular Discontent
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Israel’s northern neighbour of Lebanon, angered by years of government corruption, incompetence and mismanagement which has in recent weeks seen an inadequate response to raging forest fires which have destroyed large swaths of forest as well as dozens of homes and businesses. Proposed tax increases on mobile messaging apps as well as other economic austerity measures were the final straw for many protesters whose demands now include the mass exodus of the entire hereditary political class in Lebanon and fresh elections.

Jordanian Official Warns Peace Treaty with Israel Endangered
Speaker of the Jordanian House of Representatives and president of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, Atef Tarawneh addressed the 141st International Parliamentary Union Assembly in Belgrade on Monday, saying among other things that Israeli “violations” against Jerusalem are putting the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel at risk. “We in Jordan, who are signatory to a peace treaty with the Israeli occupation government, see today that this peace is under threat, in light of the blatant violation of its terms, especially with the issue of Jerusalem,” said Tarawneh.

Egypt and Ethiopia at Odds Over Nile
Talks over the construction of a massive dam by Ethiopia which Egypt says will cripple its economy broke down on Tuesday amidst statements by state-linked media outlets in both countries that they do not wish to go to war over the issue but they are ready to if need be. The $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is nearly 70% completed and is set to greatly increase the supply of both water and electricity for Ethiopia’s 100 million+ people, but Egyptian officials openly describe the issue of their water supply as a “matter of life and death” for their equally large population.

The escalating crisis is taking place amidst simmering popular anger against the regime which rules in Cairo and a lingering military confrontation with the Islamic State terror militia in the Sinai.

Today’s video gives some insights on Chinese Strategy in the Middle East


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