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      Netanyahu to Present His New Government

      The agreements between the Likud, Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid are expected to be placed on the Knesset table before the end of the day.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 3/14/2013, 12:46 AM / Last Update: 3/14/2013, 6:40 AM

      Lapid, Netanyahu, Bennett
      Lapid, Netanyahu, Bennett
      Arutz Sheva/Flash 90

      The coalition agreements between the Likud/Yisrael Beytenu and the Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi parties are expected to be placed on the Knesset table before the end of the day on Thursday.

      The negotiating teams of the three parties met late on Wednesday night to work out the wording of the agreements.

      Later on Thursday the members of the Bayit Yehudi are expected to gather to approve the signed agreements. The Likud party members are also expected to hold a meeting during the day to decide on the distribution of the ministerial portfolios within the party.

      The meeting is expected to be particularly difficult for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been left with only seven ministerial portfolios for the Likud. Criticism of Netanyahu among the Likud members was voiced already on Wednesday night.

      According to the agreement, Israel's new government will look as follows:

      Likud Beytenu
      Avigdor Lieberman - Foreign Minister
      Zeev Elkin - Deputy Foreign Minister
      Moshe Yaalon - Defense Minister
      Yair Shamir - Agriculture Minister
      Yitzhak Aharonovitch - Minister of Internal Security
      Sofa Landver - Immigration Absorption Minister
      Uzi Landau - Tourism Minister
      Yisrael Katz - Transportation Minister
      Gideon Saar or Gilad Erdan - Interior Minister
      Yuli Edelstein - Knesset Speaker

      The Likud will also get the Communications, Infrastructure, Strategic Affairs and Home Front Defense Ministries. The identity of each of these ministers has yet to be determined.

      Yesh Atid
      Yair Lapid - Finance Minister
      Rabbi Shai Piron - Minister of Education
      Yaakov Peri - Minister of Science
      Meir Cohen - Welfare Minister
      Yael German - Health Minister

      Some reports indicated that MK Ofer Shelah may be appointed Deputy Defense Minister.

      Bayit Yehudi
      Naftali Bennett - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics and Trade, the Diaspora and Jerusalem
      Uri Ariel - Housing and Construction Minister who will also be in charge of the Israel Lands Administration
      Uri Orbach - Pensioners’ Affairs Minister
      Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan - Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs

      Bayit Yehudi will also receive the chairmanship of the Knesset’s Finance Committee (to be given to either MK Nissan Slomianski or Ayelet Shaked), and one of its MKs will be appointed Deputy Minister of Education.

      Tzipi Livni - Justice Minister
      Amir Peretz - Environment Minister

      A deadlock over the formation of the government was broken on Wednesday evening, after the Likud conceded the Education Ministry to Yesh Atid.

      Earlier in the day, Netanyahu warned Lapid that time has run out, and that if Lapid could not find a way to compromise on his “excessive demands,” then Netanyahu would approach the hareidi-religious parties instead to negotiate their entry into the coalition.

      The coalition agreement appears to be a great achievement for the Religious Zionist movement, especially with Uri Ariel being appointed as Housing Minister. Ariel’s appointment should be very good news for residents of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, because he is unlikely to cooperate with any scheme for housing freezes in these areas, and will likely make every effort to increase construction there.

      The opposition parties, meanwhile, predicted that the new government would not last long.