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Netanyahu Partners Try to Salvage Coalition as Collapse Looms

Netanyahu Partners Try to Salvage Coalition as Collapse Looms”

According to Walla, Netanyahu is trying to reach an agreement on the wording of a new IDF draft bill to be put to a vote before the ministerial committee for legislation this week, ahead of the vote on the budget. However, according to the reportedly emerging deal, ministers will request that the prime minister not fire her and guarantee it was a one-time incident. The draft bill will be changed in coordination with the Defense Ministry before it is further legislated after the Knesset's extended spring recess.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to initiate early elections earlier Tuesday in a message on his Facebook page.

In a last-ditch effort to save his government, Netanyahu agreed with the ultra-Orthodox bloc to push the draft bill through a legislative committee on Monday setting it up for a first reading in plenum this week.

Netanyahu's opponents have been calling on him to resign since police recommended February 13 that he be indicted on bribery and fraud charges in two influence-peddling cases; police are still investigating a third case in which several former close aides have agreed to testify against him.

But Liberman renewed his vow to vote down the bill, sparking speculation that he would ditch the coalition over his opposition to the legislation.

Liberman urged Netanyahu Tuesday night not to fire Landver when she votes against the conscription bill.

Liberman reiterated that his party would vote against the legislation, which he dubbed the "evasion bill", and said he has no interest in early elections.

A new poll showed Netanyahu, Israel's second-longest serving prime minister, would emerge stronger from a vote despite the corruption scandal, winning three times as much support as his closest challenger. He said not firing Landver could keep Netanyahu's coalition together.

Infighting over the bill during the past week has pushed the government to the brink of elections, with parties issuing competing ultimatums over remaining in the coalition. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has threatened in response to pull his Kulanu party out of the government if the budget isn't passed this week.

Ultra-Orthodox parties form a central plank in Netanyahu's ruling coalition government, and the leader has sparked anger with his acquiescence to the groups on a range of issues.

Netanyahu has denied doing so and repeatedly stressed he has no interest in early elections.



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