Moshe Kahlon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File].
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made progress toward reaching a coalition deal in his second meeting in two days with Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon Tuesday, but they have not yet reached an agreement, sources in both their parties said.
Officials in both parties denied televised reports that a deal with Kulanu was ready and would be signed after Thursday’s Independence Day holiday. They said several key issues remained undecided and required more meetings to resolve them.
The unresolved issues include details of how to implement Kahlon’s housing and banking reforms, his fight against food monopolies and legislation supported by Bayit Yehudi and Likud that Kahlon fears would harm the Supreme Court.
The Likud negotiating team is expected to meet with Kulanu representatives Friday to keep on working on such issues. No meetings will be held with any of the possible coalition partners until Thursday night at the earliest.
Netanyahu also met Tuesday with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett. After a meeting between them Friday was described as positive in official statements released by Bayit Yehudi and Likud, no such statements were released Tuesday.
No progress was made in the meeting. Bennett complained that Netanyahu was giving in to other parties on key issues.
Bennett’s confidante, Bayit Yehudi faction head Ayelet Shaked, met at the Knesset Tuesday with Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman and discussed the lack of progress in coalition talks with both their parties.
Officials in both parties expressed concern that Netanyahu still preferred to bring the Zionist Union into the coalition instead. But Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog ruled out such a scenario Tuesday in an interview with the BBC.
“Netanyahu did not approach us and he knows my priority is to be in the opposition,” Herzog said.