1645 GMT: After Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah' acknowledged that the group sent the downed drone into Israeli airspace, the Gaza-based Palestinian groups praised Hezbollah.
Al-Mujahideen Brigades described Hezbollah's operation as "unprecedented", whilst Salah al-din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, said Hezbollah's improved capabilities would strengthen the resolve of the Palestinian people and deter Israel from attacking them and their holy places.
1430 GMT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denies that he agreed on Israel giving up the Golan Heights in return of a peace deal in the US-mediated secret talks with the Assad regime.
1045 GMT: Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Ehud Barak had secret talks with the Assad Bashar government in the late 2010. It is claimed that Israeli leaders agreed to a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace agreement.
In September 2010, it was Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who publicly asked the Netanyahu government to restart indirect talks between Israel and Syria, through the Turkish mediation. However, the Israeli government denied such reports.
1000 GMT: According to the Israeli State Comptroller's Office, more than half of the contributions are coming from outside the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised 96.8 percent of his NIS 1.2 million ($310,000) in campaign contributions from foreign donors.
Surprise to Netanyahu at Elections?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday that the elections for the 19th Knesset will be held on Tuesday, 22 January 2013.
According to a Smith research poll conducted for The Jerusalem Post, a "center-left mega-party" led by former prime minister Ehud Olmert and including former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, current Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid would win 31 seats --- four more seats than Netanyahu's Likud. Third would be Y'israel Beitenu with 14 seats followed by Labor with 12 and Shas with 11.
On Thursday, in a televised speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged sending the drone downed by Israeli jets last week. Nasrallah said:
The Resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) sent a sophisticated reconnaissance drone from Lebanon toward the [Mediterranean] Sea ... before it entered [Israeli airspace] and hovered over many important locations before it was discovered by the Israeli air force.
We will leave it for the Israelis to sit down and discover the drone's abilities ... We are only revealing part of our capabilities and concealing many others.
We know that the drone was hit when it travelled 25 miles into Israel and neared the Dimona nuclear reactor and, possibly, Israel's stock of nuclear weapons. This could point to weakness in the Israeli defence system, as Nasrallah claims, or Israeli leaders might have wanted to wait and test the drone's capabilities --- or to ensure it was over an unpopulated/deserted location --- before downing it.
In either case, one of the Israeli objects was to capture and reassamble the drone with minimal loss of its components.
Dov Zakheim, a foreign policy adviser to the US Republican candidate, says Mitt Romney will tighten sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and bolster ties with Israel. But, how and under what conditions will Israeli leaders be given the green light to attack Theran in case of "necessity"? Zakheim continues: "What Mr. Romney says he's going to do is win Israeli confidence, close the loopholes in the sanctions and really make it much more realistic that we will not have to attack Iran and nor will the Israelis."
In other words, Zakheim says that there will be no "red lines" set by the next Israeli government triggering an attack. So what makes Romney's policy on Iran more "realistic" than that of Obama?
UNESCO's Financial Crisis
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says it is in its "worst ever financial situation" after its biggest contributor, the US, cut funding because Palestine was granted full membership last year.
UNESCO's Irina Bokova says the organization begins with a deficit of $150 million in its $653 million budget for 2012-2013.
Egypt's Role in Palestine
According to an unidentified security officer, quoted in the Egyptian newspaper El-Watan, the Ministry of Interior has been ordered to give citizenship to 50,000 Palestinians who were born to Egyptian mothers and who mostly reside in the Gaza Strip. The same official added that another 35,000 would be granted citizenship before 2013.