Israel Announces 800 New Housing Units in West Bank; IDF Strikes Iran-backed Positions in Syria; Labor Elects New Leader

Days before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden was sworn into office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the construction of 800 new housing units in Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Israel will also legalize one unauthorized settlement. Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, called the move “irresponsible,” saying, “A sane government does not start an unnecessary battle with a new American President.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Israel carried out a series of airstrikes in Syria on January 13. The strikes appeared to target the positions and arms depots of Iranian-backed militias. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people were killed and 28 were wounded. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Israel’s Labor Party has elected MK Merav Michaeli as its new leader. The centrist-left Labor Party has a long history in Israel but faces possible extinction in the upcoming elections in March. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…