Israel’s Cabinet Presidency announced – today, Friday – that Israeli prime minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been given a deadline of until December 21 to form a new government, as President Isaac Herzog agreed to his request to extend the deadline for another 10 days.
President Herzog instructed Netanyahu to form a new government following elections in early November, his fifth since 2019, and despite winning majority support in the Knesset (parliament), he has yet to finalize the plans. agreements relating to the formation of a coalition government .
The Israeli president has given Netanyahu 28 days to form a government The current legal deadline expires next Sunday and the Likud party – led by Netanyahu – said the request for an extension came due to the delay in agreeing the roles of its partners in the new governing coalition.
Netanyahu needs to mobilize the support of no fewer than 61 out of 120 lawmakers to push his government through the Knesset, amid warnings inside and outside Israel of far-right leanings for the future government, particularly towards the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
Yesterday, Thursday, official Israeli sources announced that Netanyahu had reached an agreement with the religious right party Shas to join the next government.The agreement envisages the assignment of the ministries of Interior and Health to Aryeh Deri (head of Shas) during the first half of the new government’s mandate, on condition that he assumes the finance ministry in the second half of the mandate, and the party will take on the portfolios of religious, welfare and social security services.
And before that, Likud reached an agreement with the far-right “religious Zionist” party, under which its leader, Bezalel Smotrich, will take over the finance ministry for a two-year term.
Likud has also reached a preliminary agreement with the far-right United Torah Judaism party on the distribution of ministerial portfolios, but the legislation still required by United Torah Judaism has to be agreed.