Syrian President Bashar Assad has been looking into the possibility of claiming political asylum in Latin America in case he is forced to flee Damascus, Venezuela's foreign ministry confirmed to the El Universal newspaper.

Despite the unprecedented international diplomatic pressure, Israel was pushing ahead on Wednesday plans to construct 3,400 new housing units in the E-1 corridor between Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim. The move was announced after the UN voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's status.

Ten Palestinian Bedouin communities living in the West Bank corridor are concerned that if the construction plans materialize, they will be forced to move, a member of the local Bedouin council told Haaretz on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office demanded that a faculty member of Tel Aviv University cancel her participation in a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Netanayhu with academics in Berlin, because of her political views and criticism of government policy.

The Jewish community of Vienna has declared Jewish-American billionaire Ronald Lauder persona non grata, after, it alleges, he interfered in the elections for the community's president.

Israel has ranked 39 out of 176 on the list of most corrupt countries in 2012, according to the world corruption watchdog Transparency International's annual report.

Ahead of the upcoming Israeli elections, only one-third of Kadima's members of the Knesset remain in the party.

Israel's High Court of Justice will hear an appeal against the controversial "Boycott Law" on Wednesday. The law allows suing anyone who is calling for the boycott of Israel without having to prove damages.