Likud signs coalition agreement with Yisrael Beiteinu

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, speaking at a news conference at the Knesset, May 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, speaking at a news conference at the Knesset, May 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) – The ruling Likud and nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu parties inked a coalition agreement, paving the way for the latter’s entrance into Israel’s government.

The two parties began negotiating on May 18, when reports emerged that Israel Beiteinu Chair Avigdor Liberman would replace Moshe Ya’alon as the country’s defense minister. Yisrael Beiteinu will add five seats to the coalition, growing to 66 of the Knesset’s 120 seats. [Read more…]

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In farewell, Moshe Ya’alon calls on Israeli military to ‘remain human’

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called on the military to “remain human” during an official farewell ceremony Sunday at military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Ya’alon resigned from his ministerial position as well as the Knesset on Friday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was immersed in talks to replace him with hardline Yisrael Beiteinu party head Avigdor Liberman.  [Read more…]

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Set to enter Knesset, Temple Mount activist says he will stay away from the holy site

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Yehuda Glick, an Israeli activist who wants Jews to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, said he would stay away from the holy site after he is sworn in as a member of Knesset.

Glick, who was 33rd on the Likud party’s candidates’ list in the last elections, will enter the Knesset following the resignation of Moshe Ya’alon, who was the defense minister. [Read more…]

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U.S. will work with new Israeli defense minister, State Department says

(JTA) – The appointment of hard-liner Avigdor Liberman as Israel’s new defense minister will not affect security co-ordination between Israel and the United States or the military aid package being negotiated, an unnamed U.S. government official said, according to an Israeli television report.

The report by Channel 10 on Sunday came hours after another Israeli TV station, Channel 2, reported that the U.S. warned Israel that the appointment of Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, would cause problems for the defense talks.  [Read more…]

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Citing ‘distrust’ for Netanyahu, Ya’alon quits politics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, Nov. 15, 2015. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, Nov. 15, 2015. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

(JTA) – Following reports of his imminent replacement, Moshe Ya’alon resigned as Israel’s defense minister citing distrust in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The resignation by Ya’alon, who is rumoured to be replaced with former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, came in a statement Friday, Ynet reported. [Read more…]

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Israel announces $77M plan to improve Palestinian checkpoint conditions

(JTA) – Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

Moshe Kahlon and Moshe Ya’alon, who is expected to be replaced as defense chief by Avigdor Liberman as part of a shakeup in the governing coalition, said the plan would make checkpoints, which tens of thousands of Palestinians go through in order to reach jobs in Israel, more efficient and secure, the Times of Israel reported Thursday. [Read more…]

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Ya’alon: Israel has lost its ‘moral compass’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, Nov. 15, 2015. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, Nov. 15, 2015. (Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has lost its “moral compass,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said in his first public statements since the news broke that he may lose his cabinet position to Avigdor Liberman.

“We need to steer the country in accordance with one’s conscious and not whichever way the wind is blowing,” Ya’alon said Thursday in a speech to leaders of the country’s youth movements, urging them to lead based on a compass and not a weather vane. [Read more…]

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