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Netanyahu Signs Coalition Agreement, Broadens Government

Courtesy GPO

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finalized the remaining details of the agreement with Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is our Home) overnight and signed the agreement Wednesday morning.

The previous slim 61-member majority coalition (out of 120 MKs) will expand to a more manageable 66, helping the government present and pass pending legislation. It will free up ministers to travel abroad when necessary.

Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Liberman reached an agreement on pension reform that will see a 1.4 billion shekels ($360 million) allocation spread out over four years, with an additional 150 million shekels ($38 million) public housing allocation.

On Monday, Lieberman said Yisrael Beiteinu had compromised on several issues, but they would not compromise on the party's two basic issues: the defense portfolio and pension reform.

Liberman will be sworn in as defense minister on Monday evening, along with Sofa Landver, who will replace Likud MK Ze'ev Elkin as minister of immigrant absorption, a post she held in the last government before Yisrael Beiteinu joined the opposition. Additional ministerial changes are expected.

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