Netanyahu To Ministers, 'No Concrete US Peace Plan on Table'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside police chief Roni Alshiech

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside police chief Roni

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached a late-night compromise with his ultra-Orthodox coalition allies that could avert early elections.

The crisis, which could spark early elections, came after ultra-Orthodox parties said they would not support the 2019 state budget unless the draft exemption legislation is approved.

On Monday, Netanyahu called for solidarity in the coalition, telling all partners, "chiefly among them Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to remain in the government and continue this partnership to ensure security, prosperity and stability for the state of Israel". It also removes the possibility that Netanyahu will need to sack any members of his government, a move that would have been seen as making Parliament's dissolution all but inevitable. Yisrael Beiteinu said it will vote against the proposed solution, but Netanyahu would still have the required 61 votes to pass the bill.

Netanyahu's religious coalition partners have demanded that the government extend the military exemptions.

At a meeting on Sunday, influential rabbis reportedly chose to stick by the demand that a bill on the military exemption be approved before the budget is passed while rejecting compromise legislation that had been proposed. Netanyahu would go on to study at MIT, serve in the Israeli army, and become Israel's longest-serving prime minister.

"I said that the nuclear agreement with Iran contains within it many dangers for the world, including the special danger of the nuclearization of the Middle East", Netanyahu said, according to a statement released on his behalf.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Tuesday morning 26 Adar spoke with Kol Chai Radio host Betzalel Kahan, explaining her perception of the current political picture.

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When probed as to how the peace process to end the conflict with the Palestinians was progressing, Netanyahu said only that the final deal would take some time, adding: "Israel now gives a high priority to its new relations with the Arab countries". Recent polls show the allegations against Netanyahu have not diminished support for his Likud party.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, in turn, said he will pull his party (Kulanu) from the coalition if the budget fails to pass this week.

But Liberman remained defiant, calling the law "absurd" and vowing that his secular Yisrael Beytenu party would vote against the legislation.

Military service for ultra-Orthodox men is one of the most fraught topics in Israel and looked to undermine Netanyahu's coalition government, which holds 66 out of the 120 seats in parliament.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called on the PM to resign to spare the country of the "endless saga" of the corruption charges that Netanyahu has been embroiled in.

Israel's attorney general is expected to make a decision on an indictment by the fall.

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