Israel Election Updates Kahlon's Party Continuing to Swell With New Members

82 days to go: Eli Alaluf, former head of Knesset-appointed anti-poverty commission joins Kahlon's Kulanu party; Former Tourism Minister Misezhnikov reportedly attempted to flee Israel before his arrest.

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Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, left, and Eli Alalouf standing together on a stage in an undated photo.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, left, and Eli Alalouf.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Haaretz's latest political analyses and opinions: Israel's March 17 elections will be historic (as usual) (Chemi Shalev) | Election-season investigation is not political persecution (Haaretz Editorial)

Latest updates:

9:53 P.M. The State Prosecutor rejected Avigdor Lieberman's claims that the corruption investigation is aimed at harming Yisrael Beiteinu. "The investigation was ongoing before anyone could have predicted elections." (Revital Hovel)

6:40 P.M. Likud comptroller summons Defense Minister Ya'alon on suspicion of using the Ministry of Defense to promote his candidacy in the party's primaries. (Jonathan Lis)

5:35 P.M. MK Zoabi files incitement complaint against Likud's Danon over campaign video

Balad MK Haneen Zoabi is taking serious umbrage at an animated campaign video produced by her legislative colleague from the right of the political spectrum, Danny Danon.

Zoabi on Thursday filed a complaint with the police over the video, which portrays the Likud MK as a U.S. western sheriff enforcing the laws – with efforts including physically tossing Zoabi out of a bar called "Knesset" and locking her up with Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh and former Israeli MK Azmi Bishara. (Jonathan Lis) Read full article here

5:13 P.M. Labor Party approves the candidacy of Eldad Yaniv and Zuhair Bahlul, while declining the candidacy of Shakib Shanan. (Jonathan Lis)

10:00 A.M. Another arrest in Yisrael Beiteinu corruption scandal

A parliamentary aid to Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum was arrested on Thursday morning, the latest arrest in a huge corruption scandal that was exposed on Wednesday. Roughly 30 suspects have been arrested following a year-long ongoing investigation, including Kirshenbaum, as well as former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, the director general of a government ministry, heads of local authorities and other senior officials.

Misezhnikov, arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of receiving bribes, reportedly attempted to leave the country earlier this week, according to TheMarker. The Israel Police prevented Misezhnikov from leaving the country before he was arrested.

10:00 A.M. Eli Alaluf joins Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party

Eli Alaluf, who recently chaired a commission appointed by the Knesset to combat poverty in Israel has announced that he is joining Moshe Kahlon's political party, Kulanu. Alaluf joins Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, who announced that he is joining Kulanu on Wednesday.

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