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Sun May 26, 2019, 01:16 PM

Netanyahu struggles to form government amid talk of new election

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS MAY 26, 2019 / 12:02 PM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Netanyahu struggles to form government amid talk of new election

Jeffrey Heller
4 MIN READ

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on Sunday on what he termed a “final effort” to break a deadlock on forming a governing coalition ahead of a Wednesday deadline for a deal.

In power for the past decade, Netanyahu has unexpectedly struggled to seal an agreement with a clutch of right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties that would align with his Likud party and ensure him a fifth term following Israel’s April 9 election.

Divisions between former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party and United Torah Judaism over a military conscription bill governing exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students have plunged the coalition talks into stalemate.

Lieberman has long said ultra-Orthodox men must share other Israeli Jews’ burden of mandatory service. Ultra-Orthodox parties say seminary students should be largely exempt from conscription as they have been since Israel was founded in 1948.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-politics/netanyahu-struggles-to-form-government-amid-talk-of-new-election-idUSKCN1SW0LT

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