Likud and Religious Zionism party leaders are meeting today to try to work out a coalition agreement that would allow the formation of a new government. A coalition agreement was signed with Noam, a small religious party that ran as part of the Religious Zionism list. Noam leader Avi Maoz will become a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility over immigration from Russia, education and foreign NGO’s operating in Israel. Opponents, including current Prime Minister Lapid and Defense Minister Gantz blasted the appointment, calling Maoz a racist for his attacks against the LGBT community. He is a proponent of conversion therapy for homosexuals. He also believes that women should not serve in the IDF since their role is to bear children and raise families.
The second victim of last week’s bombings in Jerusalem died of his wounds on Saturday and was laid to rest on Sunday. Tadesa Tashuma, who emigrated from Ethiopia 21 years ago, is survived by a wife and 6 children.
A delegation from the Palestinian Authority visited the family of the Israeli Druze man abducted by terrorists from a hospital bed in Jenin, whose body was later returned to his family by the Palestinians. Mahmoud al-Habbash, the religious affairs adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, headed the delegation and said earlier on Friday the kidnapping was “shameful and diverged from the teachings of Islam, and those who don’t agree can seek out a different religion.” Three IDF Druze soldiers were arrested on Monday on suspicion of throwing an explosive device at a Palestinian home in the Bethlehem area, in apparent reaction to the abduction of the Druze man in Jenin. There were no casualties in the bombing attack.