Netanyahu to Meet Bennett to Discuss Coalition Offer

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R.) seen with Minister Naftali Bennett during a plenum session in the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will make a last effort to entice the Yamina party into his coalition on Wednesday afternoon, when he is to meet with Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett. The new government is set to be sworn in on Thursday at 10 p.m., and all the coalition agreements with all the coalition parties have to be submitted to the Knesset 24 hours before the vote ahead of the swearing in.

In recent days, it seemed that Netanyahu and Bennett have been on a collision course, with Yamina saying that the party has decided to stay in the opposition.

But while Netanyahu has begun meeting with Likud MKs and has started giving out the new portfolios, he has made a point of not giving out the portfolios that he initially offered Yamina, so the party could still join the coalition.

The Likud’s offer includes the Education Ministry, the Yerushalayim and Heritage Ministry, a deputy minister in charge of issues related to religious Zionism and the chairmanship of a Knesset committee. The Health portfolio, coveted by Bennett himself, has been taken by MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud).

A letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu signed by the leaders of the chareidi parties, asking that he do all possible to include Yamina in the coalition.

The Likud has been called on by the chareidi parties, who together with the Likud and Yamina had been the rightwing bloc that stuck together over the last year, to try to do its utmost to bring Yamina into the coalition.