Sources in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition said that despite comments by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman earlier Sunday, they do not expect a coalition crisis to emerge. “Yisrael Beytenu is unlikely to leave the coalition in the foreseeable future,” the sources said.
Earlier, Liberman said that he would pull the party out of Netanyahu's government if it decided to continue releasing terrorist prisoners. Speaking in New York, Liberman said that “Yisrael Beytenu will prefer to go to new elections than to see more Palestinian prisoners released, even in a 'package deal' in which Jonathan Pollard would be released as well,” Liberman said.
“We cannot return to this kind of arrangement whereby we release terrorists to keep the talks with the Palestinians going, considering the moves they have recently.” He was referring to last week's application by the Palestinian Authority for recognition as a member state in 15 UN agencies.
Of the 31 members of the united Likud and Yisrael Beytenu parties that ran together in the January 2013 elections, 20 are Likud members and 11 are from Liberman's party.
Although the two parties committed themselves to remain united for the duration of the current Knesset – and have discussed a future partnershp as well – Liberman said that he would not tolerate further terrorist prisoner releases, preferring to pull his MKs out of the coalition.