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Daily Briefing Jan. 12 – Negev tree crisis puts coalition out on a limb

Palestinian affairs reporter Aaron Boxerman spotlights hot-button issues for Arab Israelis; health reporter Nathan Jeffay describes Omicron as a very different coronavirus wave

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.

Palestinian affairs correspondent Aaron Boxerman and health reporter Nathan Jeffay join host Amanda Borschel-Dan in today’s episode.

The forestation of parts of the Negev is sparking a coalition crisis and violent demonstrations, including the throwing of stones at cars and a train. Boxerman dives into why Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund’s “greening of the desert” is viewed by Arab communities in southern Israel as a means of expelling those who live on this contested land.

We then get an update on the High Court’s Tuesday ruling that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked must stop enforcing the expired Citizenship Law. With the lapsing of the law, Palestinians married to Israelis are currently legally no different from any other foreign spouse. Let’s hear what’s actually been happening.

Next, we turn to Jeffay, who recently visited two coronavirus hospital wards — one for children at Sheba Medical Center and one at Hadassah Medical Center. Even as the Omicron variant rampages, is there room for optimism?

Discussed articles include:

FM Lapid calls to halt Negev tree planting amid violent protests, coalition trouble

High Court tells interior minister to stop enforcing expired ‘Citizenship Law’

1st kids’ Omicron ward opens with classes, clowns, and doctors bracing for ‘war’

View from a COVID ward: With Omicron, even the sickest patients are breathing easier

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