Ariel David Elected First President of the Federal Republic
Jerusalem - In a result widely predicted by analysts and polls, Ariel David has won the race for the presidency with 68% of all votes cast for her. Her primary opponent Benjamin Sharon has conceded and congratulated the new President. The election marks the first time the people have directly elected a president and is the second election in the new Federal Republic after last month's Knesset election following the ratification of the Constitution. President-elect David ran on a platform of integration of both the Jewish and Arab populations and a stable welfare state. Exit polls indicate she has secured absolute majorities in almost all demographics except for Orthodox Jews and the elderly. Among young voters she even exceeded the 80% record of her party by being elected by 90%.
The inauguration is planned to be held one week from now. In her victory speech the President-elect has thanked all those who have given their vote to her and pledged to be a president for all those living in Israel and other territories. She has also announced her intent to restore international relations, both with traditional allies of Israel and neighbours in the Middle East.
Jerusalem - Backed by the flag of Zion and the Hatikvah, President Ariel David has officially been inaugurated as the first president of the Federal Republic of Israel. The inauguration was reportedly attended by more than 100,000 predominantly Jewish people, but a significant presence of Israeli Arabs has also been reported.
In her speech President David promised to place the interests of all citizens of Israel at the top of her list and has pledged to build a state that brings together Israelis, regardless of their religious or ethnic origin. On foreign policy she promised an outreach to historic allies as well as a policy of reconcillation towards states in the region. She however has also emphasized that the right of the Israeli state to the Holy Land and the status of Jerusalem is beyond dispute.
President Signs Executive Order Easing Gaza Blockade
Jerusalem - As her first act in office, President David has signed an executive order immediately easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The executive order obligates the IDF and other authorities to allow food and medical supplies through without restriction. Inspections to prevent restricted goods from entering will still be conducted. The move follows recent outrage after health authorities in Gaza announced they are no longer capable of treating cancer patients and have had to cease chemotherapy for thousands. In a clarification on the executive order the President has said that "the IDF is capable enough to keep weapons out without starving and killing innocent Palestinians".
The Likud Party has publicly spoken against the executive order, stating that it threatens the safety and secury of the Jewish population of Israel and intends to start a debate in the Knesset on a law to counter the executive order. Such a law is not likely to pass as the President's party has a majority and several other opposition parties support the measure.
Jerusalem - Voting 67 to 35, the Knesset has today rescinded the parliamentary immunity which protected the opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu from prosecution in a corruption scandal involving himself and several members of his family. The vote was widely supported by the Knesset with only Likud and The Jewish Home voting against unanimously. It is expected that charges will be filed against the former Prime Minister within a week.
In response to the vote Netanhayu has accused the Stronger Together party of seeking to silence its opponents and personally has accused President David of attempting to abuse the justice system for political gain. A spokesperson for the President responded that the investigation was ongoing long before she ever entered the scene and that she had no involvement in the proposal nor the ability to veto it as it concerns a procedural matter of the Knesset.
Anonymous sources state that the State Attorney's Office has filed for and been granted a travel ban against Netanhayu to prevent a possible flight abroad to avoid prosecution.