Religious Zionist Party, Likud Reportedly Make Headway on Coalition Deal

Religious Zionist Party head MK Betzalel Smotrich. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu met for several hours with Betzalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionist Party on Sunday, with the Likud reporting “progress in all matters.”

Efforts between the two parties to strike a coalition deal will continue on Monday, according to the Likud’s statement.

Netanyahu spent the day meeting with the heads of the likely coalition parties, forming deals to create the country’s next government. Before meeting with Smotrich, Netanyahu confirmed an agreement with the one-MK Noam faction, which will see MK Avi Maoz becoming a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

On Friday, Netanyahu reached a preliminary agreement with the Otzma Yehudit party, led by MK Itamar Ben-Gvir. As part of the agreement, Ben-Gvir will assume the role of national security minister – an expanded version of the existing public security portfolio.

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