The remains of Majdi Halabi, an Israel Defense Forces soldier missing since 2005 have been found, it was revealed on Thursday. Halabi, 19, was a resident of the Druze village of Daliat al-Carmel near Haifa, who went missing while attempting to hitchhike to his base.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday that the elections for the 19th Knesset will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

Russia does not believe that Iran intends to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a top Israeli official on Thursday, adding that there wasn't any proof that the Islamic Republic was developing nuclear arms.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no serious challenger in the next election, political experts said after he launched the campaign for the 19th Knesset on Tuesday. A poll carried out for Haaretz on Wednesday appears to confirm this.

State-run television TRT reports that a Syrian plane intercepted by Turkish jets was carrying military communications equipment. Turkish officials have yet to specify what was aboard the Syrian Air A320 from Moscow that was forced to land in Ankara on Wednesday.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met a few days ago with Israel Beiteinu chairman and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. It is rumored that Olmert is considering a return to politics, although his office refused to comment on the details of the meeting.

Arabic made its debut as one of the official languages at Pope Benedict's weekly general audiences on Wednesday as part of a Vatican attempt to reach out more to Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.