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Eli Yishai.(Photo by: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Yishai claims agreement exists on yeshiva stipend funds
Steinitz calls reports "a pathetic attempt to make headlines, incite population"; Kadima accuses PM of "lying to the public once again."
A covert agreement between Shas and the Finance Ministry paved the legislative way for NIS 110 million in support of kollel students, according to Interior Minister Eli Yishai as cited by haredi website Hadrei Haredim.

According to Yishai, this understanding followed the High Court of Justice ruling against the non-egalitarian funding of Torah scholars, and was a precondition to Shas's joining the government. The law prohibits such agreements that did not receive the approval of the cabinet secretary.

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The Finance Ministry "vehemently" denied the existence of such an agreement on Sunday. The Interior Ministry clarified that there was no formal agreement, rather an understanding that the haredi parties would bring to the Knesset floor a bill on funding kollel students.

A Kadima spokesman issued a response to the report, saying, "It has been revealed that while the public and the students were shouting for equality, the prime minister was behaving like a wheeler-dealer and secured a deal under the table for his own political survival."

The statement continued by saying that Kadima will "use legislative and legal tools to expose the government's injustices and to stop it from breaking the laws of the state." The spokesman accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of "lying to the public."

The Finance Ministry statement said that "no agreement was signed with Shas or any other political authority on this subject." It continued, decrying "another pathetic instance of Knesset sources trying to make headlines and incite an entire population against the government."'
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