Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on his right-wing base to vote for Likud-Beiteinu, as opposed to other rightist parties, in order to prevent his unseating by a unified center-left bloc.

In a rare speech to the Syrian public, President Bashar Assad announced what he described as a peace plan, calling for a reconciliation conference with "those who have not betrayed Syria," to be followed by the formation of a new government and an amnesty.

An attorney for one of the police officers convicted of negligently causing the death of a Palestinian man in Israel illegally sought to lay part of the blame on the deceased in a court hearing.

Zahava Gal-On, leader of Israel's left-wing Meretz party, answered Haaretz readers' questions online. The party reached an all-time low in the 2009 elections with a mere three seats, barely passing the electoral threshold. Polls predict a better result for January 22 elections, but it still falls far short of the 12 seats it won in 1992.

Iran's agricultural exports grew last year, with pistachio and saffron sales almost doubling, despite Western sanctions on trade with the country, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Iran's deputy agriculture minister as saying.

Israeli documentary "The Gatekeepers" was awarded the nonfiction, or documentary prize by the National Society of Film Critics in the U.S.

The State Comptroller's report on the Harpaz affair will be released on Sunday, two and a half years after what has come to be called the "Harpaz document" was exposed on Channel 2 News and shook the upper echelons of the Israeli defense establishment. The document contained a detailed plan to promote the appointment of Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant as Israel Defense Forces chief of staff.

Adverse weather continued in Israel after an unusually blustery weekend. There were considerable delays on rail lines on the coast, with train travel disrupted between Haifa and Tel Aviv in both directions, and Herzliya station closed due to flooding.