“The decision was hard and there were several disputes but it was important to reach agreements,” Abbas told reporters after singing the deal.
Another coalition deal was signed with the New Hope Party. The deal guarantees splitting the role of the attorney-general, preventing Palestinian construction in Israeli controlled Area C of the West Bank and legalizing the usage of cannabis. The party received the Justice, Education, Construction and Communications portfolios.
Another dispute appeared to be on the way to a compromise after Bennett’s number two in Yamina, MK Ayelet Shaked, accepted a rotation in the Judicial Selection Committee with Labor leader Merav Michaeli. According to the compromise, Shaked would serve on the committee in the first half of the term, along with an MK from Labor, and Michaeli in the second half, along with an MK from New Hope.
But Michaeli then demanded to go first in the rotation, which Shaked requested. One way of resolving the dispute that was discussed is a rotation of portfolios in the second half of the term, with Shaked becoming justice minister, New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar shifting from the Justice to the Foreign Affairs portfolio and Bennett moving from prime minister to interior minister and alternate prime minister when Lapid becomes prime minister. Michaeli could also be promoted in that scenario.
Michaeli and Lapid met late Wednesday night just ahead of the deadline.
The judicial selection committee is due to select six new Supreme Court judges over the next four years. It automatically includes the justice minister, who will be New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar, one additional minister, an MK from the coalition and one from the opposition. There are also representatives from the current Supreme Court and the Bar Association.
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