JERUSALEM, May 26 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that he is making a final effort to form a new government and refrain from another “unnecessary general elections.”
Netanyahu has not yet succeeded in reaching an agreement among the right-wing parties to form a coalition.
The main difference is between the ultra-Orthodox parties Yahadut Hatorah and Shas, and the secular Yisrael Beiteinu party headed by former Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman.
Lieberman demands that the next government amend the Israeli draft law so that recruit quotas will be set for religious Jewish students who in the past were not obligated to perform three-year compulsory military service.
Lieberman’s demand is in accordance with the plan prepared by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, headed by Lieberman in the previous government who is intended to be appointed minister of defense in the next government as well.
The ultra-Orthodox parties oppose this demand, and Netanyahu proposed a compromise, according to which the ultra-Orthodox parties would agree to the amendments, but the number of recruits will be determined by the government instead of the parliament.
Netanyahu said that “my proposal is based on the principles that the army has established, and there is no reason to reject it.”
The ultra-Orthodox parties agreed to this proposal on Sunday night, while Lieberman remained in his refusal.
The last Israeli general elections took place on April 9, when the right-wing parties, including the Likud led by Netanyahu, won a majority of 65 out of the 120 seats in the Israeli parliament, also known as the Knesset.
According to Israeli law, Netanyahu was given 28 days to form his government, after which he was granted an additional two weeks, which will end on Wednesday – XINHUA