'Bloc of change': We're waiting for Bennett

Lapid has reached understandings with all the leaders of the bloc seeking to replace Netanyahu with the exception of the chairman of Yamina.

Hezki Baruch ,

Lapid and Benentt
Lapid and Benentt
Elad Gutman, Sraya Diamant/Flash90

Senior members of the "bloc of change" claim that an agreement on a government is almost complete and "we are waiting for Bennett", Channel 13 News reported on Tuesday.

The report comes after Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman announced that they had reached a coalition agreement.

According to Tuesday’s report, Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett is in contact only with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the Likud has expressed anger that Bennett has not yet signed an agreement for a joint run, as Netanyahu suggests.

Based on the agreements in the bloc of change so far, Lapid appears to be signing agreements to form a government comprised of at least 25 ministers, even though he has promised in the past not to allow a government comprised of more than 18 ministers.

In such a government, Bennett will be the Prime Minister, Ayelet Shaked will be Interior Minister, and Matan Kahana will receive the Religious Services portfolio. New Hope party chairman Gideon Sa'ar will serve as Minister of Justice, Yifat Shasha Bitton will receive the Education portfolio and Yoaz Hendel will also serve as minister in some capacity.

Lapid himself will serve as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Karin Elharrar will be the Minister of Communications and Meir Cohen will serve as Speaker of the Knesset. Yesh Atid will receive three more portfolios. Blue and White will receive the Ministries of Defense, Immigration Absorption or Welfare, Culture and Agriculture, which will be received by Benny Gantz, Pnina Tamano Sheta, Hili Tropper and Alon Schuster.

Labor chairwoman Merav Michaeli is expected to be Minister of Transportation if a government is formed, Omer Barlev will serve as Minister of Internal Security and another MK from the party will receive another minister portfolio. Meretz, which won only six seats in the elections, will receive three ministries – Nitzan Horowitz will serve as Health Minister, Tamar Zandberg will be Environment Minister and Issawi Frej will serve as the Minister for Regional Cooperation.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman is slated to serve as Minister of Finance and another MK from the faction will be the chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee. In addition, Oded Forer will be the Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, and another MK will serve in either the Ministry of Immigration Absorption or the Ministry of Welfare.