Israel Elections Updates / Netanyahu: PA, Hamas Attacking Israel on Two Fronts

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One list that probably won't make the cut: Eli Yishai announcing his new party, Ha'am Itanu, in Jerusalem, Dec. 15, 2014.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Haaretz's latest political analyses and opinions: Does Eli Yishai's party have a chance? (Yair Ettinger)Cussing their way to the Knesset: Israeli politicians’ juiciest insults of the week (Asher Schechter)

Latest updates:

6:30 P.M.  Netanyahu: Palestinian Authority, Hamas attacking Israel on two fronts

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas' terrorism and the Palestinian Authority's UN Security Council initiative calling for an end to the occupation constitute attacking Israel on two fronts.

Speaking at a Hanukkah ceremony in an Israeli military base in Latrun, the prime minister also said Israel would oppose the Palestinian resolution in the UN Security Council setting a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

"We expect responsible elements in the international community to reject this proposal, but in any case we'll oppose it determinedly and of course, would not abide by any dictates," Netanyahu said at a Hanukkah ceremony he held will IDF troops at a base near Jerusalem. (Haaretz)

6:00 P.M. Livni: Jerusalem will always stay under Israeli sovereignty

Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty during a Hanukkah ceremony at the Western Wall.

"Israeli sovereignty here, in this place, in Jerusalem, is the expression of the historical link between a nation and its land []" Livni said during the ceremony, also attended by Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog. "This holy place, this historical place, this place to which our deepest recesses are tied, will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever."

Earlier, Livni, whose party is running on a joint slate with the Labor party, said that she is ready to debate any issue on the agenda, including the diplomatic issue. (Barak Ravid)

2:20 P.M. MK Hanin Zoabi's office broken into, computers stolen

Balad party activists in Nazareth on Sunday morning found that their offices, as well as MK Hanin Zoabi's office had been broken into overnight. Burglars apparently stole computers and television equipment from Zoabi's office.

Responding to the incident, MK Zoabi said "I was surprised when I learned of the break in at and theft at the office. This is a serious incident, and it doesn’t seem as if the intent was criminal, seeing as how computers in other rooms were stolen, and the computers that were stolen are old and not particularly valuable. I demand that the police, which have yet to arrive on the scene an hour after the report was made, launch a serious investigation, despite the disrespect they've shown thus far."

The Balad party also released a statement in response. "Those who vandalize and steal equipment from a political party's office or center of political activity lacks any kind of communal or cultural conscience, and should be brought to justice."

10:30 A.M. Tekuma party spurns Ha'am Itanu for Habayti Hayehudi:

After a long meeting on Saturday night, the Tekuma party, headed by Uri Ariel, decided not to join with Eli Yishai's new party, Ha'am Itanu, choosing instead to remain with Habayit Hayehudi and run on a joint ticket. After the three-hour long meeting, Tekuma party officials voted to remain slated with Naftali Bennett's party. Ariel will hold the second spot on the party's Knesset list.

Before the vote, one Tekuma official, Rabbi Dov Lior said he would quit the party if it did not join with Yishai's party. Ariel said in response that he supports a split, and that it's possible that right-wing parties could lose a few Knesset seats, as Yishai's party, as well as former MK Michael Ben-Ari's party, Otzma Leyisrael, might not pass the electoral threshold. Ariel added that Yishai is a good man, who opposed the evacuation of Gush Katif.

10:00 A.M. Ha'am Itanu facing difficulties; might not pass electoral threshold

Eli Yishai's new party, Ha'am Itanu, is facing difficulties and may not be able to pass the electoral threshold. MK Eli Yishai said on Sunday morning to party officials that he has no intentions of going back, and is convinced that his party will win seven Knesset seats in the upcoming election. In an interview with Army Radio, Yishai said, "I'm playing the field, and I see the enormous support out there. I believe that we will be the best option for the nationalist ultra-Orthodox community, which is a very good, and dear community, and many of their rabbis will stand with us."

MK Yoni Chetboun, Yishai's only publicly declared ally at this point, said "we honor Tekuma's decision, but we're not upset about it. We're going full steam ahead. In three months everyone will see that Ha'am Itanu will be the surprise of the elections."

On Saturday evening, Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri harshly criticized Yishai on a Channel 2 news program, and called on him to "ask for forgiveness" at the grave of deceased former Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Regarding Yishai's new political alliances, as well as his attempts to portray Deri as a leftist, Deri said "I'm not right or left, I didn't grow up in the Labor movement or in Jabotinsky's Beitar. I came from Morocco and was educated in yeshivot. My teacher is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and he has a view of the Torah that is our essence and it is not right or left. There is a council of Torah sages, and there is the way of Maran [a term of honor for Yosef]."

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