Israel’s Netanyahu faces midnight deadline for forming a coalition

Israeli current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struggles to form a right-wing coalition government before the Wednesday midnight deadline

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

After Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his ‘Yisrael Beitenu’ party won’t be a part of the coalition, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is racing to form a right-wing government coalition before the Wednesday midnight deadline.

Lieberman’s decision left Netanyahu short of much needed majority in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), essential for passing legislations.

Yisrael Beitenu, generally backed by Russian speaking Jews, had several complaints about Netanyahu's administration, including the costly child allowances for religious schools and allocations to married yeshiva students.

Netanyahu’s Likud has been in continuous talks with The Jewish Home and the Zionist Parties, in efforts to secure a solid formation for the government, however The Jewish Home made a clear interest in the justice ministry, which is deemed unacceptable for Likud.

“The demand that we appoint a justice minister from Jewish Home is one that goes beyond the red lines of the Likud,” said Tzipi Hotovely, a lawmaker from Netanyahu’s party.

The Jewish Home or ‘Beyit Yehudi’ Justice Ministry ultimatum can “save” Netanyahu’s efforts to secure the Knesset majority.

Netanyahu struck deals with three right-wing parties as of late Tuesday - the centrist Kulanu and two ultra-Orthodox parties, United Torah Judaism and Shas - giving him 53 seats in Israel's 120-seat Knesset.

TRTWorld and agencies