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      Yesh Atid Threatens to Bolt Coalition

      Marathon ministerial discussion breaks up in disagreement over criminal sanctions against hareidim who do not enlist.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 5/27/2013, 9:41 AM

      Minister Yaakov Perry
      Minister Yaakov Perry
      Flash 90

      Yesh Atid, Likud's largest coalition partner, is threatening to leave the coalition because of the dispute over enlistment of hareidim into the IDF.

      The government was to approve legislation regulating the issue this week, following months of work by a ministerial committee headed by Minister Yaakov Perry of Yesh Atid. However, the committee's marathon session Sunday night broke up in discord.

      Yesh Atid wants the bill to stipulate that, following a transition period, hareidi men who avoid enlistment will face criminal charges. Likud and Yisrael Beytenu oppose this.

      "The behavior of the Likud-Beytenu ministers in the Committee for Equality in Enlistment is a clear breach of the coalition agreement and creates a danger that we will miss the historic opportunity to bring about equality in the military and economic burden,” Yesh Atid said in a press statement.

      "Making military service compulsory for the entire population is a necessary step for the creation of equality ion Israeli society, and not doing so endangers the continued existence of the coalition,” it said.

      Likud, on the other hand, said that slapping criminal liability on hareidim who do not enlist contradicts the coalition agreement, which specified that financial sanctions would be preferred over criminal ones.