Israel minister says not quitting, leaving coalition intact

Israel minister says not quitting, leaving coalition intact

Israel minister says not quitting, leaving coalition intact

Some had accused Netanyahu of seeking early elections as a way of clinching another mandate before a possible bribery indictment. But his base appears to be rallying behind him and he is rising in polls.

Netanyahu spoke at length of the threat posed by Iran, whom he said wanted to build an empire, starting with the current land corridor of sympathetic governments it has built to the Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

"If there are elections, we will contend and win, but we are not there yet".

Netanyahu said beyond that, what he respects and admires about America is its willingness to fight for democracy, freedom, and be a leader on the world stage no matter who opposes it. They hold five seats in the Knesset and are one of six right-wing parties that make up the ruling coalition.

Some in Netanyahu's right-wing coalition suggested the prime minister was deliberately allowing the crisis to worsen to expedite elections for personal reasons.

"Over the past week we've baked a good solution for the draft crisis".

But progress has been made on a compromise that could lessen the chances of elections for the time being.

Though Netanyahu's legal woes hang over the discussions, the dispute within the coalition centers on a separate issue entirely: legislation to exempt young ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from military conscription.

"I call on all the coalition partners, first and foremost Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, to remain in the government and to continue this partnership in order to guarantee security, prosperity and stability for the State of Israel", Netanyahu said Monday, hours after a draft version of the law was approved by a legislative committee. Kahlon said in response that he would pull his Kulanu party out of the government if the budget isn't passed this week before the Knesset session ends.

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A compromise has been seeking to balance those divergent interests. Earlier this year, the President waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and our allies time to act. The Ministerial Committee is expected to discuss the appeal on Tuesday.

Lieberman slammed the bill.

"Can elections still be prevented?"

Although Lieberman has enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Netanyahu and his similarly conservative Likud party, a schism has persistently existed in the coalition between secular parties like Yisrael Beiteinu and orthodox parties like The Jewish Home, Shas and UTJ.

Netanyahu however says that he does not want to do so, calling it unsustainable.

Netanyahu could call for early elections, both as a way to shore up his narrow coalition and affirm his public standing in the face of multiple corruption charges.

Three of his former associates have signed state witness deals with police.

Investigators last month recommended to prosecutors that Netanyahu be indicted in at least two corruption cases against him.

The other alleges he sought a secret deal with the publisher of a top-selling newspaper for favourable coverage.

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