PM Netanyahu has appointed ministers to take over the portfolios that he was forced to abdicate as a result of the indictment against him. Tzachi Hanegbi will take over as agriculture and rural development minister, a position he will hold in addition to his role as minister of regional cooperation. Science, Technology and Space minister Ofir Akunis will also assume the post of labor, social affairs and social services minister, and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely will become Diaspora affairs minister.
Jordan’s parliament unanimously passed a draft law to ban imports of Israeli gas, just days after gas imports began. The draft will be sent to the government cabinet to be approved.
The Kremlin announced today that President Putin will meet with PM Netanyahu on Thursday to discuss the pardoning of Naama Issachar, the 26-year-old American-Israeli sentenced to 7.5 years in a Russian prison for drug “smuggling”. She was arrested at a Moscow airport with 9 grams of cannabis in her luggage, on a stopover flight from India to Israel. Putin will be in Israel this week for a Holocaust remembrance service.
The Blue and White party has launched a campaign aimed at religious zionist voters. The party is seeking to attract moderate voters who are unhappy with the extremist leanings of the right wing religious zionist parties including Jewish Home, National Union and Jewish Power. Several candidates at the top of the Blue and White list are affiliated with the Religious Zionist sector including Elazar Stern, Yoaz Hendel, Hili Trooper, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Tehila Friedman, Michal Kotler, Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz, and others.
Stormy weather continues across Israel, with warnings of local flooding in coastal cities and the lowlands, as well as snowfall on Mount Hermon. The Water Authority said that the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) is now just 1.865 meters below its maximum capacity.
Tesla will soon begin selling 3 models in Israel. The registered models are the Tesla Model S, to be sold in both a 506 horsepower and a 707 horsepower version; the Model 3, equipped with a 390 horsepower engine; and the Model X six-seater, with a 707 horsepower engine. The cheapest model will cost over NIS 300,000 (approximately $86,700).