Likud Proposal for Draft Bill Rejected by Both Sides, Dissolution Vote Set

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israel Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman leaves after a faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Both the chareidi parties and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu rejected Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “final proposal” on the draft bill late Wednesday night, which appeared to pave the way for a vote on a second round of elections.

The Knesset was schedule to vote at 11:30 p.m. Israel time on a bill to dissolve itself and set new elections for September 17.

Earlier, Netanyahu’s Likud has presented an ultimatum to the chareidi parties, which called for agreeing to Liberman’s military draft bill or going to new elections, according to media reports.

Times of Israel reported that a source in United Torah Judaism, according to Channel 12 news said “We may support another candidate from the Likud to form the government,” in response to Netanyahu’s offer for them to work with Yisrael Beytenu.

Lieberman’s draft law was to be brought without changes for the preliminary approval of the Knesset plenum. After its approval, the law will be prepared for a second and third reading by mutual consent,” the likud said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“The proposal has now been submitted to the parties and we await their positive response in order to form a right-wing government tonight and prevent unnecessary elections,” the Likud said.

However, it appeared that it already had its answer.

“We won’t retreat beyond what we have agreed to,” Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party said. “We have compromised,” he told Channel 12 news. “If Liberman won’t accept our offer we will have to go to elections but we cannot budge further.”

“I still believe that a government can be formed. I’m on my way to sign on the coalition agreement.”