Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party reached an interim coalition agreement with the United Torah Judaism Party on Tuesday.

According to Israeli media, UTJ head Yitzchak Goldknopf will oversee the Construction and Housing Ministry and UTJ MK Moshe Gafni will chair the Knesset Finance Committee.

The party will also receive control over the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry.

Netanyahu has until Dec. 11 to finalize a coalition, though he may ask President Isaac Herzog to grant a two-week extension.

UTJ said that while it had agreed with Likud on the allocation of roles in the prospective government, a follow-up meeting would be held on Wednesday to discuss other “fundamental issues.”

The party also signaled that Netanyahu would indeed ask Herzog for an additional 14 days to negotiate with his partners.

The Likud has already signed formal coalition deals with Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism Party, Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit and Avi Maoz’s Noam, leaving UTJ and Aryeh Deri’s Shas to finalize a 64-member coalition.


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.