Wed. May 6, 2015 Israel News

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  • Prime Minister Netanyahu set to present government to President Rivlin
  • Netanyahu gives in to Bayit Yehudi demand to give Justice Ministry to MK Shaked
  • Former Tel Aviv District Prosecutor arrested in connection with Ronel Fisher bribery affair

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a government coalition after reportedly reaching agreement with the Bayit Yehudi Party on Wednesday. Hours before the midnight deadline for Netanyahu to present his government to President Reuven Rivlin, the Likud Party accepted an ultimatum given by Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett to give the Justice Ministry to MK Ayelet Shaked.

Bennett will be Education Minister. Bayit Yehudi’s eight seats will allow Netanyahu to form a 61-member coalition, the narrowest government in Israel’s history; the Kulanu, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties have already signed coalition agreements with the Likud. The distribution of cabinet posts within the Likud is to take place on Sunday, and the new government is to be sworn in on Monday. Netanyahu plans to serve as Foreign Minister as well as Prime Minister.

Additional suspects are under investigation in connection with the bribery case centered on prominent attorney Ronel Fisher. Ruth David, a former high-ranking official in the Justice Ministry and close business associate of Fisher is suspected of bribery and obstruction of justice. David, who was Tel Aviv District Prosecutor, was arrested and questioned after she gave information to a state witness in the case. On Wednesday her remand was extended by three days. Along with Fisher, David allegedly illegally obtained and leaked information from Police Superintendent Eran Malka in order to prepare suspects for interrogation.

An official Sudanese army spokesman claimed on Wednesday that an unmanned drone carrying two missiles, belonging to the Israel Air Force, was downed by the Sudanese army overnight Tuesday after it entered Sudanese airspace. Arab media reported that foreign military planes attacked a storage space and an arms factory near the Sudanese capital, and speculated that Israel may have been behind the attack. Israeli security officials denied the claims, and insisted that Israel had not lost any drones.

Thousands attended the funeral of Or Assraf, the sole Israeli victim of April’s devastating earthquake in Nepal, who was laid to rest on Wednesday in Lehavim in the Negev. Assraf’s body, which was found on Sunday in the Langtang region, returned to Israel on Tuesday, accompanied by his father Patrick and his comrades-in-arms from the IDF “Egoz” unit who had gone to Nepal to search for him. Or, who had been injured in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, was vacationing in Nepal after completing his compulsory military service.

And finally: Israelis on Wednesday night celebrated the Lag BaOmer holiday with festivities at the gravesite of revered mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in the northern town of Meron and traditional bonfires all over the country.

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