Netanyahu demands solution to coalition crisis

Sources close to Netanyahu say PM not interested in early elections but won't accept temporary solution.

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Mordechai Sones,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Sources close to the Prime Minister addressed the Draft Law crisis this evening, claiming that Prime Minister Netanyahu has demanded that coalition members reach an agreement settling the dispute.

"The Prime Minister does not want a partial, or temporary solution to the political crisis, that in another month or two everything will be repeated," the sources said.

"Honestly, we don't want snap elections," the sources added. "Despite the flattering surveys, the Prime Minister remembers how to go into elections, but doesn't know how to get out of them."

Members of the Lithuanian Degel HaTorah faction of the United Torah Judaism party are scheduled to hold consultations with rabbis of the movement Rabbi Gershon Edelstein and Rabbi Kanievsky on the question of how to deal with the recruitment crisis.

Netanyahu's haredi coalition partners have expressed concern that a proposed amendment to the Draft Law, which would circumvent a Supreme Court ruling against draft deferments for yeshiva students, would fail to pass in the Knesset without government support, and have demanded the Prime Minister force the Yisrael Beytenu and Kulanu factions to vote in favor of the bill.

Since the late 1970s, all full-time yeshiva students have been offered annual service deferments, a practice the Supreme Court has challenged over the past two decades.

Without the full support of the coalition government, a proposed work-around to the Supreme Court's rulings would likely fail in the Knesset, prompting haredi lawmakers to demand government backing for the bill - while threatening to block an upcoming spending bill should their demands not be met.

For the time being, Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) has ordered the Arrangements Law to be approved by the committee on Thursday, but not to promote the budget bill at this stage.