A deadlock has reportedly been broken in negotiations to assemble the new coalition government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli newspaper Maariv reports that the new coalition agreement could be signed next week with the Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) parties. Under the agreement, yeshiva students would be required to serve in the Israeli military or national service by the age of 21 or lose their government stipend. A special quota of students would be exempt for Torah studies.
The website of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported that both Likud-Beiteinu and Yesh Atid confirmed that an agreement would be signed. It reported that the education ministry, which both Likud-Beiteinu and Yesh Atid had coveted, would go to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid.
It said that size of the new government would be kept at 23 ministers and that there would be no ministers-without-portfolio. It said the new coalition could be presented to the Knesset next Tuesday, one day before the arrival of President Barack Obama for a three-day visit.
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