Netanyahu reaches coalition deal for Israeli government | News | DW | 14.03.2013
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Netanyahu reaches coalition deal for Israeli government

Agreement on a new coalition government in Israel has been reached after weeks of negotiations, according a spokeswoman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The coalition includes three political parties.

Israel gedenkt des Mordes an Rabin Caption: An unidentified man recites prayers as he stands near Israelis flags blowing in a stiff wind at the grave of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (black stone) and his wife, Leah (white stone), during a ceremony on Mt. Herzli cemetery in Jerusalem on Friday, 04 November 2005 marking the tenth anniversary since his assassination. A wreath of red roses in the shape of a heart is on the stone terrace before the tombstones. Yitzhak Rabin was gunned down by an extremist right-wing Jew after a Peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Ausschnitt Symbolbild Israelische Flaggen Archiv

Netanyahu's Likud party is to be officially joined in a coalition by the centrist Yesh Atid and far-right Jewish Home parties in a ceremony on Thursday afternoon. A smaller, centrist party led by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will also be included.

Ahead of the ceremony, a spokeswoman for Likud told Reuters “there is a government.” Other sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity until the formal announcement, confirmed that a coalition agreement had been reached.

The coalition looks set to control 68 seats in Israel's 120-member parliament.

Outside role for ultra-Orthodox allies

In elections in January, the centrist parties made considerable gains on Netanyahu's Likud party, forcing him to leave his traditional, ultra-Orthodox allies out of the next coalition.

A March 16 deadline was looming for Netanyahu to reach an agreement on a government. Had this deadline been missed, another party leader would have been given the chance to form a government.

Netanyahu must still formally notify President Shimon Peres of the coalition agreement. The parliament will then likely be sworn in on Monday – two days ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama.

mz/ipj (AFP, AP, Reuters)