The new Dead Sea Research Institute will coordinate the work of four separate research bodies in Israel and Jordan that are working on the area from the Arava to the Jordan Valley, and are carrying out advanced studies for the benefit of the local population and neighboring peoples.

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs apologized for the comments of Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara after he linked the earthquake in Italy to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee resolution ignoring Judaism's deep ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.