Bezalel Smotrich (L) and Aryeh Deri (R)
Bezalel Smotrich (L) and Aryeh Deri (R)Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Likud negotiation team is slated to meet with the Shas negotiation team at 4:00p.m. on Thursday in Jerusalem, after which it will meet with the Religious Zionism and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) teams.

Despite the progress in the talks, there is still no agreement regarding the distribution of portfolios in Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's sixth government.

As of Thursday morning, Shas head Aryeh Deri is still refusing to give up his hold on the Finance portfolio, and Netanyahu is refusing to grant Religious Zionism chair Bezalel Smotrich the Defense Ministry. While Shas has stated that it is not willing to compromise, the Likud is preparing a consolation package for Smotrich that Deri will find difficult to refuse.

As it would seem, Netanyahu will offer Deri both the Interior portfolio and the Ministry for Religious Affairs, which is being eyed by Religious Zionism. This way, Smotrich would receive the Finance Ministry but would have to give up full control over religious affairs.

In such a scenario, Religious Zionism will wish to come to an agreement regarding the Religious Affairs Ministry according to which they will receive the Deputy Minister post and have a hand in some of the Ministry's appointments and part of its budget.

Previously the Likud offered a rotation in which Smotrich will serve as Finance Minister for the first two years and Deri will serve for the next two. According to this plan, Deri would serve as Interior Minister while Smotrich would be serving as Finance Minister. Both parties rejected the plan.