Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Friday granted Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu ten more days to finalize coalition talks and present a new government.
With his mandate to form a new government set to expire Sunday, Netanyahu requested an extension Thursday evening, writing to Herzog that the Likud is in the midst of intensive talks with Shas and United Torah Judaism.
The Likud must secure the support of both haredi factions in order to reach a governing majority in the Knesset.
Negotiators from Shas and United Torah Judaism have signed preliminary coalition agreements with the Likud, delineating the positions each party will receive in the next government.
However, details regarding government policies vis-à-vis hot-button issues, including a new haredi draft law, must be resolved before full coalition agreements can be signed.
In addition, Shas is insisting that prior to the formation of a new government the Knesset pass legislation ensuring MK Aryeh Deri will able to serve as minister. Under the current law, Deri may be barred from serving in the government on grounds of moral turpitude over his recent conviction for tax offenses.
To this end, the Likud has prepared to replace the Knesset Speaker even before the new government takes office, the first step towards passing laws in the new Knesset.