"This morning we reached an agreement with Yesh Atid on the issue of 'equal share of the burden,' but this afternoon they withdrew their approval to the outline that was devised on the issue," a Likud-Beiteinu source said Sunday evening.
According to the source, Habayit Hayehudi and Yesh Atid
have resumed deliberations on the matter. In light of the crisis, six days before the deadline for forming the next government expires, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an urgent meeting with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett. The meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 10 pm, will be held at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem.
The coalition talks resumed Sunday afternoon and revolved mainly around the outline for an equal share of the burden.
"At this point, the negotiations are far from being finalized. Things are progressing very slowly," a Yesh Atid source said. "Only at a later stage will we discuss the number of ministers and the allocation of portfolios."
For the time being, it seems that Prime Minister Netanyahu
will hold the Foreign Affairs portfolio until Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman is prepared to reclaim it.
Moshe Ya'alon is expected to be appointed defense minister, immigrant absorption minister will most likely be Sofa Landver and Yisrael Katz will remain Transportation Minister. Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu) is likely to be appointed for the first time as agriculture minister.
Talks held over the weekend indicate that Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Bennett will serve as industry, trade and labor minister with widened authority in the framework of this position. Number two on the Habayit Hayehudi list, Uri Ariel, will most likely serve as housing minister and Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan will most likely receive the Religious Affairs portfolio.
Habayit Hayehudi sources have said that portfolio allocation has not yet been completely finalized and that talks are still being held regarding governmental positions.
Just 24 hours after Minister Eli Yishai of Shas lashed out at Bennett and Yesh Atid Chairman Lapid, the religious party's other leader, Aryeh Deri, attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu over what he called a "submittal" which will lead to a haredi-free government. "I say to the prime minister, you won't be able to wash your hands of this. I have no doubt that history will harshly judge those who lent a hand to this situation," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Deri, who said he was certain the next government, which he called bourgeoisie, will be established without ultra-Orthodox parties and will only include "members of the upper echelon," addressed Netanyahu and said, "the excuses are plentiful. You said you were compelled; you even bothered to condemn; but these are excuses that will not survive the harsh test of history.
"A responsible and fair leader needs to state clearly: I will not partake in banning no matter what. I will not partake in pre-disqualification of populations in the State of Israel."
The ultra-Orthodox parties claim Bennett and Lapid have "boycotted" them.
"We are witness to an absurd situation in which an entire population is being banned, a situation in which legal political parties in Israel can publicly declare that as far as they are concerned, two million citizens are banned, just because it's within their comfort zone," said Deri.