Liberman Signals Opposition to to Compromise IDF Draft Deal

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The Yisrael Beytenu party opposes a compromise deal worked out between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Haredi parties, putting the coalition at risk.

Oded Forer, a lawmaker from the Yisrael Beytenu party, said his faction would continue to fight against any bill not supported by the Defense Ministry, headed by Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman, but did not say if it would bolt Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, or keep the government intact.

“We will oppose the conscription law,” Forer told Israel Radio. “There is no room for compromise at the expense of the security of Israel at the whim of some rabbi.”

Party leader Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman says he opposes the compromise, which would defer action on a bill allowing for Haredi exemptions to the draft until the summer. He said any bill must be drafted by his ministry in cooperation with the IDF.

On Sunday, Israeli Netanyahu said that if one of the current coalition members leaves he will dissolve the government.

"One thing is clear," he was quoted saying by the Times of Israel, "a government with 61 [MKs] cannot hold. That is clear to everyone. Already this morning we understood that even members of Likud are conditioning votes in return for any number of requests. Sixty-one is not an option."

Netanyahu's statement comes in the midst of a heated controversy between the Yisrael Beiteinu party and its Haredi counterparts over a law drafting Haredim into the IDF.

Both sides appear willing to bolt the government if their demands are not met.

Some have posited that Netanyahu may in fact desire new elections, which he believes he would win with a comfortable margin, thus shoring up his mandate in the wake of a series of corruption allegations.

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