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Sa’ar taps former Education Ministry colleague as Interior Ministry director general

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar has appointed Yigal Tzarfati, presently of the Education Ministry, as the new director general of the Interior Ministry. Tzarfati is currently the Education Ministry’s deputy director of the development authority. He served under Sa’ar in the last government, when Sa’ar was education minister. The appointment requires the approval of the Civil Service Commission and the cabinet. In his most recent position, Tzarfati’s responsibilities include overseeing construction of educational facilities, such as the plan to build hundreds of preschools that have opened as part of the program to extend free preschool to children aged 3 and 4. ‏(Lior Dattel‏)

Clalit HMO seeks to buy private hospital in Haifa

The Clalit Health Maintainance Organization announced at a press conference on Tuesday in Tel Aviv that it was in advanced negotiations to purchase the Elisha private hospital in Haifa. The hospital is equipped with five operating rooms and recently received Health Ministry approval to open four additional surgery rooms. According to Clalit director general Eli Defes, the HMO − the country’s largest − is interested in expanding the number of private operating rooms under its ownership so that its members with supplemental health coverage in the north would have greater surgical options. Currently there is a shortage of private hospital beds and operating rooms in the north. Clalit also has a 40% stake in Herzliya Medical Center, with another seven operating rooms. ‏(Ronny Linder-Ganz‏)

Argentine investor hasn’t given Dankner’s Ganden the $75 million it’s seeking

IDB Holding controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner has been courting Argentine Jewish investor Eduardo Elsztain to inject an additional $75 million into Dankner’s privately held firm Ganden. But the initial deadline for notifying Dankner that he would make such an investment came and went yesterday and Elsztain has apparently not sent the money. Dankner controls IDB Holding via Ganden. Meanwhile IDB Holding owes its creditors, including bondholders and its bank lenders, NIS 2.06 billion. Several days ago IDB Holding approached representatives of the company’s bondholders to consent to a month-long extension to exercise its option with Elsztain in order to wrap up the final details of the restructuring agreement. But the representatives refused to convene a bondholder meeting to secure consent for an extension without earnest money of NIS 50 million to NIS 150 million from Elsztain. (Michael Rochvarger‏)