A second coalition deal has been signed ahead of the formation of a new Israeli cabinet. Today the ultra-Orthodox party Shas signed a coalition treaty with Benyamin Netanyahu, giving Shas four ministerial posts. Shas chairman Eli Yishai will become Interior minister. Other posts are Construction and Housing, Religious Services and one minister without portfolio stationed at the Prime Minister's Office.
The other ultra-Orthodox force in the Knesset, United Torah Judaism, has refrained from signing coalition deals so far. UTJ sticks by its demand for increased spending for Jewish religious education. UTJ has criticized Shas' 'greed', arguing that today's deal was premature.
Netanyahu's coalition now has the support of 53 members of the Knesset, but will need another eight in order to form a government. Talks are set to continue with the Labor Party, the far-right Jewish Home and UTJ.
Source: Jerusalem Post
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