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Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Liberman likely to be named defense minister as new coalition takes shape
nter-party negotiations step-up as May 28 deadline nears; Yisrael Beytenu, PM still in dispute on Haredi draft law; United Torah Judaism rabbi to submit own version of controversial legislation
Avigdor Liberman from the Yisrael Beytenu Party is expected to return to the position of minister of defense, Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth learned on Thursday.

 

  

Yisrael Beytenu won five seats in the April 2019 elections; Oded Forer, second on the list, and former CEO of the absorption ministry, is expected to become the new absorption minister.

 

Liberman, Netanyahu and Litzman (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg, GPO, EPA)
Liberman, Netanyahu and Litzman (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg, GPO, EPA)

 

Despite the progress reported, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman have not yet reached agreement on a new draft law, set to exempt the ultra- Orthodox public from serving in the IDF.

Other demands regarding religion and state made by the orthodox parties in their coalition talks, are also still unresolved. 

  

Liberman's demands for Knesset committees have not been resolved yet either. They await Netanyahu's final decision. 

 

Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

  

Liberman resigned from his post as Defense Minister in the outgoing cabinet, criticizing what he called lax policies towards Hamas in light of repeated attacks from Gaza.

  

An unnamed source involved in the negotiation process, between the prime minister and Liberman, said new guidelines regarding Israeli's strategy towards the terror organiztion, have been agreed on.

  

Negotiations between Netanyahu and Liberman had reached a dead-end last week, and Yisrael Beytenu declared it was ready to "serve Israel from the opposition" if their demands are not met.

 

Netanyahu during a Knesset assembly (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Netanyahu during a Knesset assembly (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

Liberman held meetings with the IDF Chief of Staff and Shin Bet officials, with Netanyahu's approval, according to reports on Channel 13 news, Wednesday, adding to speculations he will resume his role as defense minister.

  

Netanyahu is trying to finalize coalition talks with all other parties, ahead of the May 28 deadline for presenting his new government;

An agreement with the Shas Party is likely to be signed very soon, sources say.

  

Some progress has been made in talks with United Torah Judaism, the ultra-Orthodox party, but on Wednesday, Likud sources  confirmed that the draft law, the core issue between the two sides, is still unresolved. 

 

Litzman speaks in the ultra-Orthidix city of Bne Brak ahead of the April 9 elections (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Litzman speaks in the ultra-Orthidix city of Bne Brak ahead of the April 9 elections (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
 

 

The Likud's negotiation team asked that the ultra-Orthodox parties approve the draft law as is, and that the government will change the quotas after the law is approved so that the actual number of Haredis drafted remains the same. 

 

 

but, according to Likud sources, Deputy Health Minister MK Yaakov Litzman, head of United Torah Judaism, will not respond untill the Gerrer Rebbe, leader of the Ger Hassidic court, to which Litzman belongs, approves the final version of the bill.

  

"He (the Rebbe) has to send us a version of the draft law that he can live with," said sources

No progress can be made in negotiations before the Rebbe is heard.

 


פרסום ראשון: 05.23.19, 10:23
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