Barak, Netanyahu Reach a Coalition Deal


Published March 24, 2009.
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Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on a draft government coalition deal ahead of a Labor Party meeting where the deal will be presented.

The Labor leader and prime minister-designate signed the deal Tuesday morning after talks that lasted most of Monday night.

Labor’s Central Committee will meet Tuesday afternoon, where Barak will ask the more than 1,400 members to approve the agreement.

In the deal, the leaders agreed that Israel will work to reach a regional peace agreement; Israel is committed to all agreements signed by previous Israeli governments; Barak, continuing as defense minister, will be a full partner in the diplomatic process; and the government will enforce the law on illegal outposts, Ynet reported.

Under the agreement, Labor will receive five Cabinet positions, two deputy ministers and a Knesset committee chairmanship, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Even if the Central Committee approves the resolution, it is unclear how the seven Labor lawmakers who oppose the deal, out of the party’s 13 elected members, will act in the Knesset. If the Central Committee does not approve the resolution, Barak must decide if he should leave the party and stay on in his current position.

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