Avigdor Lieberman's resignation as Israel's foreign minister officially took effect, and Israel's attorney general postponed filing an indictment for fraud and breach of trust against him.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has extended a moratorium on a civil conversion bill for another six months. The bill proposed last year by Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu Party allows municipal rabbis to handle conversions -- few may do so now -- and permits only the president of the High Rabbinic Court to annul a conversion. It passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset last summer. The second moratorium will expire on July 10. The first had expired on Dec. 31.
Israel's Knesset voted to form a parliamentary committee to investigate left-wing Israeli organizations that criticize the Israeli military's actions. The initiative, proposed by the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, passed Wednesday by a vote of 47 to 16. The committee will be charged with determining if the groups are funded by foreign countries or by other groups with links to terrorism. Israeli human rights groups have criticized the initiative.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is bringing a hawkish party into his coalition, guaranteeing him the support of 78 members of the 120-seat Knesset and possibly one of the most stable governments in Israeli history.