Israel has a right-wing government: Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu phoned President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday evening and proclaimed, “I have succeeded in forming a government”.
The phone call took place 18 minutes before the extension granted to Netanyahu from Herzog was set to expire at midnight.
Netanyahu told Herzog, "Dear President, thanks to the enormous public support we received in the last elections, I am informing you that I have been able to establish a government that will act in the interest of all the citizens of Israel."
The chairman of the Religious Zionist Party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, tweeted shortly after 11 p.m., "We have succeeded", but there had been reports of difficulties in contacts with the various parties that are members of the coalition before Netanyahu’s call with Herzog.
Netanyahu and his coalition partners have not yet formally signed the coalition agreements, but reached agreements in principle before the announcement. Netanyahu and representatives of the United Torah Judaism and Otzma Yehudit parties will continue their discussions.
The first party to reach a final agreement with the Likud was the Religious Zionist Party. Officials in the party told Israel National News that the signing of the agreement will take place on Thursday.
Among the clauses in the agreement with the Religious Zionist Party: Promotion of a significant reform to amend the justice system, appointment of a National Religious Chief Rabbi, amendments to legislation in light of the difficulties and loopholes created by the so-called “grandson clause” of the Law of Return, and a new kashrut law.
It was also decided to enact the Basic Immigration Law, a conversion reform, the expansion and accessibility of the conversion system, a plan to deepen Jewish identity, spiritual heritage and identity centers and the allocation of hundreds of millions of shekels to strengthen Jewish identity, the Basic Law of Torah Study - a basic law stating that studying Torah is a fundamental value in the heritage of the Jewish people, amendment of the law prohibiting discrimination in products, a law strengthening the status of the Chief Military Rabbi, and an equal citizenship program that will transfer the powers of Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria from the Civil Administration to government ministries.
Smotrich and Netanyahu agreed on a government decision, to be approved within 60 days, to regulate the young settlement, the regulation of the yeshiva in Homesh by amending the Disengagement Law in northern Samaria and the immediate implementation of the Evyatar plan.
In order to make daily life easier in Judea and Samaria, it was agreed on the regulation of crossings, the development of roads and infrastructure and a solution to the issue of cell phone reception in Judea and Samaria.
The sides agreed on a five-year plan for the development of Judea and Samaria, acceleration of the construction of the haredi city of Kasif in the Negev, a repeal of the Electricity Law, a law for the development of the Galilee, a government decision on a campaign to preserve open spaces, 400 million shekels to strengthen communities along the northern border, a plan for Judaization of the Galilee, the establishment of a university in the Galilee, the plan for Judaization of the Negev, 25 million shekels for a government program to aid mixed cities, a government decision to strengthen state-funded religious education, strengthening midrashot for girls and the pre-military preparatory schools, promoting issues of Aliyah and absorption within a budget of 350 million shekels per year to encourage Aliyah from France and the US.
The designated Finance Minister, MK Bezalel Smotrich, said, "The coalition agreement and the basic lines are the statement of intentions and the direction of this government. We will work together for four years for all the citizens of Israel. We will develop the communities in the Negev, the Galilee and Judea and Samaria, we will fix the Israeli justice system as we committed to in the Law and Justice plan, we will return the governance to the Negev and the cities of Israel, we will strengthen the Jewish identity of the State of Israel, we will strengthen the Israeli economy and open markets and barriers that will strengthen our beloved country. Together, we will take care of the advancement of the State of Israel and bring it to new heights. The coming years will not be easy and we are facing major changes in the world economy. The State of Israel will be an island of stability, growth and prosperity.”
"Citizens of Israel, from the right and the left, the people of the Negev and the mountains, the residents of the cities and the villages, religious, secular, traditional and haredim, all citizens of Israel, we will do everything we can to continue marching the State of Israel forward and bring good days to each and every one of you. Happy Hanukkah," Smotrich added.