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Israeli Leader's Party Reaches Coalition Expansion With Right-Wing Faction

Sputnik News

07:55 25.05.2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached a deal with his former foreign minister's right-wing party to expand the ruling coalition that may be signed as soon as Wednesday, the Israeli press reported, quoting ruling party sources.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Netanyahu reportedly held late-night talks with Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, Kahlon and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin – who is said to be negotiating on behalf of Likud.

"It appears that Yisrael Beiteinu has decided to be flexible about Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's offer, and is willing to step back some of its demands," Netanyahu's Likud party source told the Haaretz daily.

The publication specified that Lieberman compromised on his initial demand to distribute increased old-age payments among exclusively Soviet emigrees to Israel.

A new stumbling block, however, appeared in the face of another coalition and cabinet member's demand to be kept abreast of security and defense affairs.

Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home) party chair and Education Minister Naftali Bennett warned that he would not back Lieberman's appointment as defense minister if a military attache was not appointed to the diplomatic-security cabinet.

Lieberman is expected to succeed Moshe Yaalon, who resigned from the defense ministerial post last week citing distrust toward Netanyahu's right-wing policies.

Yisrael Beiteinu's six lawmakers in the Israeli parliament expand Netanyahu's coalition to 67 members in the 120-member Knesset.

Lieberman declined to join forces with the prime minister nearly two months after the March 17, 2015, parliamentary elections and as Netanyahu faced a looming deadline to form a coalition. The Russian-speaking Soviet emigre resigned from his foreign ministerial post and joined the opposition.

Sputnik



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