Breakthrough in Coalition Talks, But a Distance Yet to Go

By Hamodia Staff

Shas chairman Rabbi Aryeh Deri in transit during coalition talks in Yerushalayim this week. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — A breakthrough in the coalition talks between Likud and Shas was reported late Wednesday.

Intensive negotiations yielded a deal whereby Shas leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri will return as interior minister, as well as a rotational arrangement with Religionist Zionist chairman Betzalel Smotrich at finance, and the position of deputy prime minister. In addition, Shas will get the health and religious affairs ministries.

But if all is quiet—at least for the moment—on the Likud-Shas front, the same could not be said of the Likud-Religious Zionism front.

Likud chief negotiator MK Yariv Levin and the Religious Zionist Party blamed each other for the delay, caused by incessant wrangling over ministerial appointments.

Outstanding issues were also reported vis-à-vis Otzma Yehudit, which is insisting on the Negev and Galil portfolio, but hasn’t gotten it yet.

United Torah Judaism was reportedly poised to receive the Yerushalayim affairs ministry, ministry of social equality and the ministry of construction and housing.

In the meantime, nothing has been signed, and anything could happen.

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