Israeli ministers favor bill to exempt ultra-Orthodox from military service

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside police chief Roni Alshiech

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside police chief Roni

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition is on the verge of breaking, as one party in the ranks has announced their intention to vote against a compromise bill regarding exempting Orthodox Jewish men from military service.

He directed his remark mainly at Avigdor Lieberman, the defense minister and leader of the Yisrael Beitenu faction, which objects the exemptions.

The political woes come as Netanyahu is battling corruption allegations.

The crisis within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition follows speculation over whether the prime minister wants early polls to bolster his political standing ahead of his possible indictment for bribery in the coming months.

Israel's prime minister is holding emergency negotiations with key coalition partners in hopes of averting a crisis that has threatened to plunge the country into early elections.

Trump is demanding "significant changes" to the Iran deal, not just additional agreements between the USA and the European nations, and said he would pull out of the deal if those changes aren't made, Israeli officials told Axios. Either the defense minister tells Sofa Landver to abstain in the vote on the Draft Law, or the prime minister decides not to fire Sofa Landver, even if she votes against it.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, in turn, said he will pull his party (Kulanu) from the coalition if the budget fails to pass this week.

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But Liberman remained defiant, calling the law "absurd" and vowing that his secular Yisrael Beytenu party would vote against the legislation.

"Many countries in the West Asia are saying that they are also allowed to enrich uranium if Iran is allowed to do so; therefore, the way to prevent this danger, the nuclearisation of the West Asia, is to either thoroughly correct the agreement or abrogate it", he said.

Based on that compromise, parliament could give final approval to the budget and preliminary approval to the conscription bill as early as Tuesday night.

According to the agreed deal, the conscription bill will now be frozen until the Knesset returns from its recess in mid-April, when a government bill drafted by the Defense Ministry will be proposed and merged with the private bill, taking the army's personnel needs into account as the Knesset takes up once again the question of ultra-Orthodox draft exemptions.

The 68-year-old premier could soon face charges in at least two separate corruption affairs, while investigations are continuing into two others.

President Donald Trump reportedly informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will not be flexible with European powers in negotiating changes to the stipulations and limitations around Iran's nuclear program.

Should Lieberman and his party quit, Netanyahu's coalition could in theory continue with a one-seat majority in parliament.

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