21:10 IL: Shas leader Aryeh Deri has reached agreement by which his party is joining the new coalition government. At present, the coalition includes Likud (30), Kulanu (10), Yahadut Hatorah (6) and Shas (7), totally 53. If Bayit Yehudi comes on board, the will give Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a majority of one as his coalition will be 61 of the 120-seat Knesset.
Clearly the tables have turned on Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett who was first shouting Netanyahu was discriminating against him and that he might not join the coalition. Now that the other religious parties have signed, if Bennett opts to enter the opposition, he will be blamed for the demise of a right-wing coalition.
The deadline for forming the coalition is Wednesday, 17 Iyar.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)