Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

Middle east

Israeli parties sign deal to form coalition government

© AFP

Video by Gallagher Fenwick

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-03-15

After weeks of political deadlock, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bloc has formally signed a deal with the centrist Yesh Atid and the pro-settler Jewish Home parties to form a coalition government, a spokesman said Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a coalition deal Friday with rival parties to form the next government, a spokesman said, in an agreement that was stalled for weeks due to tough negotiations.

The new coalition is the first in a decade to exclude ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties. It includes two new rising stars who have vowed to end a system of draft exemptions and welfare subsidies granted to thousands of ultra-Orthodox students.

Noga Katz, a spokeswoman for Netanyahu’s Likud-Yisrael Beitenu faction, said leaders of the Yesh Atid and Jewish Home parties struck the deal Friday afternoon after agreeing to give up last-minute demands to be named deputy prime ministers shortly before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. Those demands delayed the deal from being formalized at the last moment the night before.

Netanyahu welcomed the agreement in a statement.

“We will work together in the new government for the sake of Israel’s citizens. We will act to strengthen Israel’s security and to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Israel,” he said.

The next step is for Netanyahu to notify President Shimon Peres on Saturday night. The new Israeli government will be sworn by Monday, two days before President Barack Obama is due to visit Israel.

Talks were stuck for weeks over the division of Cabinet portfolios and reforms in the military draft law.

Although Netanyahu’ Likud-Yisrael Beitenu bloc emerged as the biggest faction in the Jan. 22 parliamentary election with 31 seats, he struggled to form a coalition with the necessary 61-seat majority in the 120-member parliament.

Newcomers Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party proved to be tough negotiators, forcing Netanyahu to ask the president for extra time to build the coalition. If he had not formed a coalition by Saturday, the country could have been forced to hold a new election.

Yesh Atid, which ran on a ticket vowing relief to Israel’s struggling middle class and an end to draft exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox will have the Finance and Education ministries. The Jewish Home, a party linked to the West Bank settler movement, has the Housing and Trade ministries.

Netanyahu’s bloc, meanwhile, will retain control of the powerful defense and interior ministries.

Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who leads a small dovish party committed to reaching peace with the Palestinians, joined Netanyahu’s coalition last month with promises that she would be his chief peace negotiator with the Palestinians.

(AP)

Date created : 2013-03-15

  • ISRAEL

    Netanyahu reaches deal for coalition government

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Netanyahu coalition impasse ‘not a political crisis’

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Israel’s Livni joins coalition, to head peace process

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)