Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman told members of his party on Tuesday that the chareidi parties will not at any point be part of the new government, despite assertions by senior coalition leaders that the chareidi parties are still welcome to join.
“It is not possible for the chareidi parties to join the government. Anyone who claims that the chareidi parties can be added to this government is deluding himself and others,” Liberman said at a faction meeting, according to Channel 12.
The comments appeared to have been directed at Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett, as well as Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who have both claimed that they have not shut the door to a coalition with the chareidi parties, even though the prospective government currently has a majority of secular factions and no religious ones.
However, Shas and UTJ leaders all but closed the door to such a possibility at a Tuesday press conference where they launched an assault on Bennett.
According to Channel 12, Liberman went further during his faction meeting, saying that he would demand a measure to establish a state commission of inquiry into the Meron disaster and another implementing a currently frozen deal to expand the pluralistic prayer area at the Kosel, to be introduced at the first Cabinet meeting of the nascent government.
Both efforts are likely to further anger the chareidi parties.