The United Torah Judaism party signed a coalition agreement with the Likud Monday morning, Israel Hayom reported, bringing Opposition Leader and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu closer to completing the formation of a new government.
Negotiators for the two sides met for nearly 12 hours overnight in marathon talks to achieve a breakthrough, after negotiations hit an impasse last week.
With the new agreement, the Likud has secured the backing of four of its five right-wing allies, leaving only the haredi Shas party to sign an agreement.
Earlier Monday morning, the full coalition agreement between the Likud and the Religious Zionist Party was released, showing that MK Bezalel Smotrich will be appointed Interior Minister mid-way through the government’s term, after he rotates out as Finance Minister – switching positions with Shas chairman Aryeh Deri.
The Religious Zionist Party will also be given broad powers regarding the administration of Area C in Judea and Samaria, including the right to appoint the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), and to dictate the government’s formal responses to petitions accepted by the Supreme Court with regard to Judea and Samaria.