Netanyahu and Smotrich
Netanyahu and SmotrichSpokesperson

Sources familiar with the coalition negotiations estimate that the chances are increasing that the agreement between the Religious Zionist Party and Likud will be signed tonight, reports Daphna Liel on Channel 12 News.

Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu and Religious Zionist Party chairman Bezalel Smotrich met on Tuesday night, together with the negotiation teams of the two parties, in an attempt to reach agreements on issues that still remain unresolved after the long and in-depth meeting that took place on Monday.

At the end of Monday night’s meeting, the two parties issued a statement which said that the Religious Zionist Party is not opposed to the appointment of a temporary Knesset Speaker, and had agreed to Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu's request to appoint a temporary Knesset Speaker immediately.

Earlier it was reported that Netanyahu intends to ask President Isaac Herzog for an extension of 14 days to form a governing coalition.

Netanyahu still has 12 days to form a government, but with negotiations with multiple parties have stalled.

The incoming coalition is struggling to select a new Speaker of the Knesset as well as to pass a law which would allow Shas chairman Aryeh Deri to serve as a minister despite being convicted for tax offenses.

In the meantime, Netanyahu is hoping to appoint an interim Speaker of the Knesset.

The three leading candidates for the position of Speaker of the Knesset are MKs Amir Ohana, Yoav Kisch and Ofir Akunis. Netanyahu has not yet informed them which of them will be his choice for the position.