Report: Netanyahu Likely to Ask for More Time to Form Government

By Hamodia Staff

Prime Minister-Designate Binyamin Netanyahu in the Knesset. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – Amid daily reports of difficulties in the negotiations to form a government, Channel 12 reported on Tuesday evening that Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to ask President Isaac Herzog for an extension of the deadline.

Netanyahu has until December 13 to present his government. But the president has the power to grant a14-day extension at his discretion.

Aside from the as-yet unresolved allocation of ministerial portfolios, Netanyahu reportedly may want more time to pass a law that will clear away legal obstacles to Shas chief Rabbi Aryeh Deri serving as a minister.

Netanyahu has been having trouble reaching agreements with all of his coalition partners—Shas, Religious Zionism, Otzma Yehudit and United Torah Judaism (UTJ).

Most of the media reportage has focused on the other parties, but on Monday night UTJ made it clear that things were not going well with them either.

In line with instructions from the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah there would be no coalition agreement before the details regarding yeshivah bachurim and other religious issues are outlined in detail, they said in a statement.

“Unlike other parties, we are not looking for jobs. We want to take care of the issues of Yiddishkeit and the yeshivah bachurim,” they said.

In the meantime, talks were at a standstill. “We don’t get any answers, they left us for last; this is shameful behavior for those who claim to be partners,” they said of the Likud.

Earlier on Monday, there were media reports that Shas leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri held a meeting with Netanyahu in which he expressed outrage over his party’s treatment in the negotiations, and threatened to withdraw from the coalition and only support the government from outside.

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