Published March 15, 2013
JERUSALEM – A spokesman for a major Israeli party says a deal has been signed to form the next government.
Yesh Atid spokesman Harry Cohen says the three main coalition partners signed the deal Friday. The agreement comes after weeks of deadlock.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bloc has now joined with the centrist Yesh Atid and the pro-settler Jewish Home parties. Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who leads a small party, joined last month.
Talks were stuck for weeks over the division of Cabinet portfolios and reforms in the military draft law.
The new coalition is the first in a decade to exclude ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties. It includes two new rising stars who have vowed to end a system of draft exemptions and welfare subsidies granted to thousands of ultra-Orthodox students.