Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting at parliament on March 14, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting at the Knesset (Israel's parliament) on March 14, 2013 in Jerusalem. Netanyahu and his centre-right partners have overcome differences with rightwing factions to pave the way for an accord on a new government on Friday, reports said. © Gali Tibbon - AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting at parliament on March 14, 2013
AFP
Last updated: March 15, 2013

Israeli coalition deal to be finalised Friday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of two parties likely to play a key role in the new coalition have overcome their differences and are to sign government deal on Friday, reports said.

Media outlets said the breakthrough occurred after Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid, and Naftali Bennett who leads the far-right Jewish Home party gave up demands for the post of deputy prime minister.

Israeli public radio said the long-awaited agreement was to be signed on Friday afternoon before the start of the Jewish sabbath which begins at sundown.

Netanyahu has until Saturday evening to present the new coalition agreement to President Shimon Peres.

The new cabinet is expected to be sworn in before the parliament on Monday, 48 hours before the arrival of US President Barack Obama.

Widespread media reports said the deal would involve Yesh Atid, which won 19 of the parliament's 120 seats in the January elections, taking the finance and education ministries, while Jewish Home, which won 12 seats, would take the trade and industry, and housing portfolios.

Netanyahu was expected to temporarily handle foreign affairs, pending the conclusion of former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman's trial on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Lieberman's hardline Yisrael Beitenu ran on a joint ticket with Netanyahu's Likud, with the list winning a narrow victory of 31 seats.

Likud was also to take charge of the defence and interior ministries, press reports said.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272