Prime Minister-designate MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) on Tuesday evening spoke for the first time in six days with Religious Zionism chief MK Bezalel Smotrich, following reports that the two were no longer communicating.
Analyst Amit Segal reported on Channel 12 News that no progress was made in the meeting between Netanyahu and Smotrich, since Netanyahu is not interested in giving Smotrich the Defense Ministry, and at the current stage of negotiations, he cannot give him the Finance Ministry, either, since it has been promised to Shas chief Aryeh Deri.
Netanyahu also explained to Smotrich that due to the security situation, there is a need to act with moderation on diplomatic and security issues, at least until the end of US President Joe Biden's time in office.
Smotrich was then offered his choice of any ministry, other than Defense or Finance.
Meanwhile, the bloc is already working on a plan which will allow the appointment of Deri to the position of minister when the next government is sworn in. The plan includes the replacement of the Knesset Speaker next week, a quick legislation of the Override Clause, and a change to the law which will allow the appointment of a minister even if he was placed on probation by the court.
According to Channel 13 News, sources in the Likud believe that Smotrich will eventually receive the Finance Ministry in exchange for not demanding any control of the Religious Affairs Ministry.