Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz agreed on Sunday to a set of prerequisites published by Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman for joining a center-left coalition government.
Gantz shared on his Twitter account a screenshot from Liberman's Facebook page, detailing his party's conditions for joining a Gantz-led government, accompanied by a caption reading, "Agreed, we must move forward."
Liberman made it clear he would not back down from his election promises regarding conversion to Judaism and opening businesses on the Sabbath, which significantly diminishes chances he will enter negotiation talks with the religious parties.
This move is likely to make the establishment of a government more difficult for Gantz and will narrow down the possibilities available to him even further.
Yisrael Beytenu's conditions for joining a coalition:
1. Income support and pensions for the elderly from the state will be equaled to a minimum of 70% of the current minimum wage in the labor market.
2. The operation of public transportation and businesses on the Sabbath will be delegated to the local authorities.
3. The implantation of a draft bill for ultra-Orthodox men which was approved by first reading in the 20th Knesset.
4. The introduction of civil marriage in Israel.
5. The introduction of a more lenient conversion process to Judaism.
The Yisrael Beytenu chair and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are in the midst of an incandescent campaign against one another after Liberman announced he will back legislation offered by Blue & White and other parties on the center-left to ban any members of the Knesset who are criminally indicted from serving as prime minister.
With the Soviet-born politician's support; alongside Blue & White, Labor-Gesher-Meretz and the Joint List; the bill can muster a potential 62-lawmaker majority in the 120-strong Knesset who are in support of the bill.
Right-wing politicians have denounced the law, claiming that it is legislation specifically designed to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government.
Sources close to Blue & White claimed that the party intends to make the law applicable only from the next parliament so that it would not be perceived as a personal move against Netanyahu.
In response, Netanyahu's Likud party petitioned the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday to launch a criminal probe into Liberman's alleged involvement in a corruption case involving his party, known as the "Yisrael Beytenu Affair."
Liberman responded to Likud's petition with a social media post consisting only of several laughing face emojis.