Despite statements of optimism earlier this week from some Shas officials, reports from the negotiating table seem to send a different picture. Shas officials are sending a message of pessimism as they explain they cannot accept the Kandel plan for inducting chareidim into the IDF. Aryeh Deri announced the rabbonim who guide the party are opposed and therefore the issue is a non-starter.
Israel Radio reports talks with Shas have broken down to some degree, and at present, there does not appear to be any significant progress on the horizon regarding the chareidi parties.
There are no formal coalition talks on Thursday, 11 Adar 5773 because of Taanis Esther, but Likud/Beitenu officials are trying to remain optimistic as they work to conduct unofficial talks to advance the process as the end of week three of coalition negotiations approaches.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s mandate is for 28 days, until the end of next week, at which time he can inform the president that he is unable to form a government or request a 14-day extension. The president has the option of granting the extension or handing the mandate of forming a government to another party.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)