Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin NetanyahuYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu met with Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem Wednesday.

Netanyahu has no further meetings planned today.

Coalition negotiations are at an impasse as Netanyahu continues to refuse to give the defense portfolio to Religious Zionism party chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich.

Smotrich has demanded either the finance portfolio or the defense portfolio. However, Deri has laid claim to the finance portfolio and Netanyahu has been reluctant to upset the Biden Administration by making the right-wing Smotrich Defense Minister.

In their meeting today, Deri and Netanyahu tried to find a creative solution to the dispute. The possibility of "compensating" Deri by giving him an expanded internal portfolio is being examined, but for now the Shas chairman insists on receiving the Finance Ministry.

After his meeting with Deri, which lasted just 20 minutes, Netanyahu said: "Just a little patience, and with G-d's help we will establish a right-wing government."

Earlier today, a meeting between Netanyahu and Smotrich was cancelled. A meeting between Likud and Religious Zionism party representatives was also cancelled.