Israel Election Updates Deadline to Submit Knesset Slates Passes; Likud to Contend Alone

47 days to go: Kahlon declined Netanyahu's offer of treasury in exchange for merger; stormy day for Habayit Hayehudi: Eli Ohana, Dani Dayan quit; Right-wing MKs submit petition to disqualify Israeli Arab MK Haneen Zoabi.

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Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is also Minister for Diaspora Affairs, waving.
New Industry minister Naftali Bennett cuts price of standard bread.Credit: AP

Latest political summary:

Herzog-Livni list get 3 seats more than Likud in latest poll; Lieberman's party Yisrael Beiteinu may barely pass the voter threshold required to make it into the Knesset, according to a Channel 10 poll; Court orders recount of Likud primary votes; Comptroller asked to probe Labor Party campaign management.

Latest analysis and opinion: To defeat Netanyahu, Zionist Camp must play dirty (Uri Misgav) | Bennett moves Habayit Hayehudi ticket slightly to the left (Chaim Levinson) | Unity among Israeli Arab parties helps everybody (Zvi Bar'el)

For Wednesday's updates, click here

Latest updates:

10:16 P.M. Israel's political parties submitted their Knesset slates to the Central Election Commission on Thursday. As of 10 P.M., the parties can no longer make any changes to their lists or merge with other parties ahead of the March 17 election. The commission now has two weeks to examine the lists and disqualify candidates. (Jonathan Lis)

9:00 P.M. Eli Yishai's Yachad party merges with Otzma Yehudit

Relenting to pressure, Knesset Member Yoni Chetboun has decided to remain in Yishai Yachad party, despite threats to leave if the party merges with the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, led by Baruch Marzel.

Sources in the party say Chetboun agreed to drop the ultimatum after he was promised that members of Otzma Yehudit will not speak out on the contentious Temple Mount issue until after the election. (Yair Ettinger)

7:20 P.M. Kulanu reveals Knesset slate

Kulanu issued a press release listing its list of candidates for the upcoming election. These are the first ten:

1. Moshe Kahlon
2. Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant
3. Eli Alaluf
4. Dr. Michael Oren
5. Rachel Azaria
6. Tali Ploskov
7. Yifat Sassa-Biton
8. Eli Cohen
9. Roei Pluckman
10. Merav Ben-Ari

(Ilan Lior)

6:50 P.M. Shas reveals list of candidates

Shas' Council of Torah Sages has approved the following list of candidates for the upcoming election:

1. Aryeh Deri
2. Yitzhak Cohen
3. Meshulam Nahari
4. Yaakov Margi
5. David Azoulay
6. Yoav Ben Tzur
7. Yitzhak Vaknin
8. Avraham Michaeli
9. Haim Bitton
10. Yigal Guetta (a Bnei Brak Municipal Council member)
11. Michael Malchieli (a Jerusalem Municipal Council member)
12. Rafi Barnes (a Bat Yam Municipal Council member)

(Yair Ettinger)

5:15 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly offered Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon the role of finance minister in the next government if he agreed to run on a joint ticket in the upcoming election. Kahlon rejected the offer. (Yossi Verter) Read the full story

3:45 P.M. Arad mayor Tali Ploskov joins Kulanu party

Arad Mayor Tali Ploskov has joined Moshe Kahlon's party, Kulanu, and will assume the party's sixth slot in its slate for the Knesset. Ploskov, 52, immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union, and has served as mayor of Arad since 2010, with backing from the Yisrael Beiteinu party. She was elected to a second term last year, partly because she received support from the local ultra-Orthodox community.

2:36 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slotted former cabinet minister Benny Begin into the 11th place on Likud's Knesset list. Begin, 72, was tossed off the list in the last elections. His placement will likely strengthen Likud's position against Kulanu and its leader Moshe Kahlon, who once called himself a "Beginist."

1:50 P.M. MK Yoni Chetboun says he will leave Eli Yishai's Yachad party if it is merged with far-right Otzma Yehudit, led by Baruch Marzel. The two sides have been working out the details of a deal since Wednesday. The deal would have slotted Marzel into the fourth spot on the Knesset list. (Haaretz)

1:45 P.M. Former settler leader Dani Dayan quits Habayit Hayehudi, after being offered 17th place on party's list. "I didn't come to politics to be a tool to foil another candidate," Dayan wrote on his Facebook page. (Chaim Levinson)

11:06 Three petitions calling for the disqualification of MK Haneen Zoabi from running for a Knesset seat were recieved by the chairman of the central elections committee on Thursday morning. Full story

8:15 A.M. Eli Ohana quits Habayit Hayehudi, amid criticism

The former soccer star announced he is pulling out of Habayit Hayehudi, and will not be running for a Knesset seat as part of the party's roster – only three days after it was publicized that he was picked for a reserved slot on the party's election list. Full story

4:00 A.M. Eli Yishai and far-right Otzma LeYisrael party renew talks over joint ticket

Talks on a unified Knesset slate between MK Eli Yishai’s ultra-Orthodox Ha’am Itanu party and Michael Ben-Ari’s far-right Otzma LeYisrael were resumed Wednesday in a bid to declare the completed list on Thursday. Full story

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