Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said Monday that negotiations to form the next government coalition were "far from over."
Speaking at a Yesh Atid faction meeting, Lapid stated that "there are still a number of issues that have not been solved.
Lapid expressed hope that "together with the prime minister and the
potential [coalition] partners, we will form a government that is good
for the state and we will work to improve the lives of the citizens of
Israel, including the haredi citizens.
Meanwhile, Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett expressed the hope on
Monday that ongoing coalition talks with Netanyahu would soon lead to
the formation of a new Israeli government.
hope that Israel will have a government soon," Bennett told Walla!
news, a day after he met with Netanyahu to discuss terms for joining the
coalition. Bennett has teamed up with Lapid to create a solid front
aimed at excluding the ultra-Orthodox parties from the next coalition.
With Yesh Atid's 19 seats and Bayit Yehudi's 12 seats, united the two
parties have equal prominence in the next Knesset as Netanyahu's
While Netanyahu initially accused Yesh Atid
and Bayit Yehudi of an "unacceptable" boycott of an entire population
group, the Lapid-Bennett tactic seemed to have paid off Sunday. The
prime minister began working on formulating a coalition without the
haredi parties, first breaking the news to Shas and then resuming his
talks with Bayit Yehudi.
Even so, the negotiations between
Netanyahu and his one-time aide Bennett are not running entirely
smoothly. Attorney David Shimron, head of the Likud-Beytenu negotiating
team on Sunday continued his attacks on the Bayit Yehudi party over its
refusal to join the coalition without Yesh Atid.
In an interview
with Army Radio, Shimron also ridiculed Bennett's request that
Likud-Beytenu cancel its coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni's Hatnua
party. "Is this a child's game?" What is this nonsense?" he asked.
leader Shelly Yacimovich said Monday that despite calls for the party
to join Netanyahu's coalition, deep ideological differences still exist
and the party is preparing to be in the oppostion.
Speaking at a
Labor party faction meeting, Yacimovich stated that was preparing "an
effective and combative opposition that will be much more effective than
sitting in a coalition whose policies will be dictated by Netanyahu."
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.