Netanyahu, Bennett to Meet for Coalition Talks After Impasse

April 17, 2015  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet with Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett on Friday afternoon, amid tense barbs between the two parties and heavy speculation over the coalition. 

Globes reported Thursday that some initial coalition talks had begun between Netanyahu and Bennett, whereby Bennett would be reinstated as Economics Minister and would also be given the Strategic Affairs portfolio.

Meanwhile, Jewish Home’s Tekuma faction leader and #2 MK Uri Ariel will leave the Housing and Construction Ministry and become Agriculture Minister instead, while also being put in charge of the government’s Settlement Division, the World Zionist Organization (WZO)-linked branch which maintains a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. 

MK Ayelet Shaked, #3 on Jewish Home’s list, is expected to gain a portfolio as well, although it is unclear which one. 

Jewish Home has been demanding the defense ministry or foreign ministry portfolio, which Netanyahu has reportedly been firmly refusing.

Netanyahu will also meet with Yisrael Beytenu on Friday afternoon; reports indicate that party chairman Avigdor Liberman will demand to be reinstated as Foreign Minister, as well as the obliteration of Hamas. He is also expected to counter haredi demands to retract the Conversion Law and haredi draft laws. 

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