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Mon. Sep 26, 2016 News from Israel

  • Israel signs $10 billion gas deal with Jordan
  • Former Yisrael Beiteinu cabinet members to be indicted for fraud
  • Finance minister Kahlon refuses to back off from proposed tax for 3rd apartment owners

The Israeli gas partners signed a deal on Monday with the Jordanian gas company. According to the deal, Israel will supply the Arab country with gas from the Leviathan gas field. The deal is valid for 15 years and is worth an estimated $10 billion. This is the first exporting deal from the Leviathan gas field that the Israeli gas partners signed. The Leviathan gas field is schedule to begin operating in only about four years. Senior level officials from the Israeli gas partners welcomed the signing of the deal. In addition, they mentioned that the gas deal will enable their companies to continue to develop the gas field.

Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit announced Monday that he will likely indict former top Yisrael Beytenu leaders Stas Meseznikov and Faina Kirschenbaum and 14 others for bribery, fraud and money-laundering. Meseznikov was tourism minister and Faina Kirschenbaum was deputy interior minister until the scandal broke in December 2014. The charges police said they found evidence for include bribery, fraud, money laundering, and breach of trust, falsifying documents, and obstruction of justice, among others. Miseznikov also stands accused of using drugs such as cocaine .

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon refuses to back off his proposal to impose a tax on a third apartment purchased by the same person. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu backed Kahlon on Monday and asked the Likud members who oppose the new tax to calm down. The Bank of Israel Governor Dr. Karnit Flug said Kahlon's tax initiative would lower home prices at the expense of raising rent.

The prosecution and the defense in the case of an IDF general accused of rape have agreed, at the request of a special military tribunal assembled to try the case, to defer his trial and discuss a possible plea bargain.The mediation process in the case of Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris, will be managed by a former military judge, Maj. Gen. Ilan Shiff, according to a statement from an army spokesperson. The trial for Buchris, who is accused of rape, sodomy and sexual assault against two former female subordinates, was initially set to begin on September 29.

For the first time, the OECD's Summit on 'Innovation in Education and Educating for Innovation' was held in Jerusalem. Senior delegations from some 30 countries attended, including Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and Argentina. The education ministers and high-ranking officials were exposed to Israeli innovation, especially in the fields of formal and informal education. President Reuven Rivlin met with the representatives.

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