Israeli coalition deal signed

By Anna Sheinman, March 15, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: AP)

Yesh Atid and Jewish Home have now both signed up to the Israeli coalition after last-minute wrangling over the title of deputy prime minister.

Neither Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid nor Jewish Home’s Naftali Bennett will take the ceremonial title.

After signing, Mr Bennett said: “We promised during elections to take care of the cost of living, to increase competition in the marketplace and to restore to the state its Jewish soul, and now we’ve got the tools to do it.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will now be able to formally notify President Shimon Peres that he has formed a coalition which holds a majority in the Knesset. That coalition is made up of Likud-Beiteinu, with 31 seats; Yesh Atid, with 19; Jewish Home, with 12; and Hatnuah, with six. It comprises 68 of 120 seats.

The new government will most likely be sworn in on Monday.

Last updated: 2:56pm, March 15 2013