Saturday, February 27th | 15 Adar 5781

November 7, 2019 3:02 pm

Blue and White, Yisrael Beiteinu Parties Reach Preliminary Deal in Israeli Coalition Talks

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A combination picture shows leader of the Blue and White party, Benny Gantz; Avigdor Lieberman, the head of Yisrael Beitenu party; and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun, Nir Elias, Amir Cohen / File.

The centrist Blue and White and secular-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu parties have reached preliminary agreements on several issues in ongoing coalition talks, amid Israel’s ongoing political stalemate.

The Israeli news site Mako reported that, with only 13 days left for Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a government, the negotiating teams for the two parties reached a consensus on several economic issues, including raising income for the elderly and disability payments.

There was nothing conclusive, however, on the most important issue — that of religion and state. However, Blue and White said the two parties had agreed on the issue in principal during previous meetings.

Yisrael Beiteinu, which won eight seats in the second round of elections in September, may hold the key to the establishment of any coalition government. However, party head Avigdor Lieberman has stated he will only support a unity government composed of Blue and White, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, and his own Yisrael Beiteinu.

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