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Netanyahu, Lapid & Bennett in Nighttime Meeting

Prime Minister reportedly trying to bridge gap between Bennett, Lapid on yeshiva students' enlistment.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/10/2013, 9:46 PM

Bennett, Netanyahu, Palid
Bennett, Netanyahu, Palid
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a three-way meeting with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett for Sunday night, as the politicians attempted to forge a deal that will make it possible to present the new government Wednesday. Former minister Avigdor Lieberman also joined the meeting, according to reports.

Negotiating teams for Likud / Yisrael Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi met in Ramat Gan Sunday afternoon, but talks reached a dead end after a short time. The main sticking point is still the wording of the agreement as regards hareidi enlistment to the military.

Sources in Likud / Yisrael Beytenu said that Yesh Atid had taken back its agreement to matters that had already been finalized. "In the morning, we reached an agreed outline for equality in [military] service with Yesh Atid, and we reached an agreed formulation, but in the afternoon they went back on everything that had been agreed upon regarding the outline."

The Likud / Yisrael Beytenu sources said that Yesh Atid's new outline is not acceptable to Bayit Yehudi because it harms religious-Zionist and hareidi yeshivas. That is the reason why Netanyahu has called them both to meet with him in his Jerusalem bureau.