Source: Likud Set to Announce Deal With Shas, UTJ

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to announce his first coalition agreement next week, sources in the Likud said.

Yaakov Levi ,

Shas head Aryeh Deri
Shas head Aryeh Deri
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to announce his first coalition agreement for the formation of his new government next week, right after the conclusion of the Passover holiday, sources said Wednesday. Netanyahu met Tuesday with Shas head Aryeh Deri, and hammered out the last issues on Shas's inclusion in the government, the sources said.

Last week, Netanyahu' also met with MKs from United Torah Judaism. Although that deal has not yet been closed, it is believed that Netanyahu has offered United Torah Judaism its “traditional” slot for the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee, a job UTJ's Moshe Gafni held before the formation of the last government. The currrent chairman is Jewish Home MK Nissan Slomiansky.

According to the sources, Netanyahu has made it clear to Moshe Kahlon that his Kulanu party would not be receiving the chairmanship, despite Kahlon's demand that it could not join the government if it did not receive it. Also unclear is the fate of the Religious Affairs Ministry, which Jewish Home and Shas both seek.

According to the sources, Jewish Home and Likud are still far from an agreement. Last week, party leader Naftali Bennett expressed concerns that Prime Minister Netanyahu would try to form a government without the party. source in the Jewish Home responded by saying, "Netanyahu's maneuvers are known and recognized both in Israel and abroad, and we will not be surprised if this time he will again try to keep the Jewish Home out of the coalition, but we will work for our voters also from [the opposition],” a Jewish Home source said.