By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched a deal to form a new government on Wednesday just before a deadline expired, but his coalition will rule by the slimmest of majorities in Israel's turbulent parliament. "Israel now has a government," Naftali Bennett, the head of the far-right Jewish Home party announced at parliament after hours of haggling with Netanyahu's Likud deputies over cabinet positions, which were not immediately announced. Netanyahu had struggled to put together a coalition for nearly two months after winning an easy election victory, after a former ally abandoned him this week. Barely two hours before a midnight (2100 GMT) deadline mandated by law, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud sealed an agreement with ultranationalist Jewish Home, which advocates annexation of parts of occupied territory Palestinians seek for a state. Netanyahu dispatched a formal notice to President Reuven Rivlin, telling him "I am honored to notify you I have succeeded in forming a government, which I would like to present to parliament as soon as possible." With Jewish Home, the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism and Shas parties and Kulanu, a centrist faction, the Likud-led government will control 61 of parliament's 120 seats. VULNERABLE TO POLICY DEMANDS Such a narrow majority will make Netanyahu vulnerable to policy demands from even his most junior partners, continuing a long tradition of instability in Israeli politics. Netanyahu said he would seek to enlarge the coalition. "Sixty-one is a good number, 61-plus is better," he said, without elaborating as to which party he would seek to add. Jewish Home seems certain to push for the expansion of Jewish settlement in occupied territory, a policy that could deepen Israel's rift over the issue with its main ally, the United States, and the European Union. Bennett, the party's leader, has called for the annexation of parts of the West Bank. That goes beyond Netanyahu's pledge to continue to build in settlements only in areas Israel intends to keep in any future peace deal with the Palestinians. In return for Jewish Home's support, Netanyahu bowed to its demand for the justice minister portfolio, a post critical to the smooth passage of cabinet-approved legislation to parliament for ratification. Under a compromise, some of the minister's authority may be curbed, Israeli political sources said. The exact job definition was likely to be ironed out only in talks expected to take place overnight until the agreement between the parties is signed. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a FACTBOX on legislative plans, click: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ JEWISH NATION STATE Bennett is a strong supporter of a bill, promoted by Netanyahu, that would anchor in law the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Critics, among them Rivlin, have said it runs counter to the founding fathers' vision of equality for Arab citizens. Other proposed legislation likely to be pursued would seek to limit the power of the Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by parliament and tighten controls over foreign donations to left-wing organisations. Shortly after the March 17 election, Netanyahu appeared to be coasting toward a right-leaning government with control of 67 parliamentary seats and voiced confidence he would be able to form one quickly. Rivlin initially gave him 28 days to do so. But on Monday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose once-strong relationship with the Israeli leader turned sour long ago, took his far-right Yisrael Beitenu party out of the coalition talks. That left Netanyahu with only 53 seats, making Jewish Home's backing essential to ensuring the unexpected election win would result in a fourth term for the 65-year-old leader. Had Netanyahu not met Wednesday's deadline, the president would have been obligated by law to appoint another legislator to try to form a government. A coalition pact between Netanyahu and his main election rival, Isaac Herzog, leader of the centre-left Zionist Union that won 24 seats, would have ensured a broader coalition. But Herzog, who largely echoes Netanyahu in criticism of the framework deal world powers reached with Iran last month to restrict its nuclear programme, did not stray from his post-election pledge to take to the opposition benches. (Additional reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Janet Lawrence and John Stonestreet)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Kristi Noem tried not to directly address the issue.
Will Smith reveals that he and Jada Pinkett Smith decided at one point in their marriage that they would no longer be monogamous: 'Marriage for us can't be a prison'
Will Smith "delicately explained" in a new GQ interview that Jada Pinkett Smith wasn't "the only one engaging in other sexual relationships."
As one does.
- Yahoo Life
The reality star is in "vacation mode."
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty ImagesAs the morgues and ICUs in Idaho overflow with COVID patients, Republican Governor Brad Little said he would fine businesses with over 100 employees if they enacted a mask mandate.It’s an insane stance rooted in his desire not to give his challenger, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, any cause to attack him as she guns for his job.Dying people be damned, as Republicans turn against each other in contests up and down the ballot and across the coun
Here's where Jamie Lynn stands in Britney's legal battle with their father.
Chuba Hubbard is the top waiver wire target in fantasy football this week, but if you can't snag him, there are plenty of other solid options.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Rumors swirled about their relationship throughout the week, and their brief postgame meeting at midfield didn't help matters.
- Lions Wire
The NFL cannot hide from another officiating error that directly costs the Lions a win
- Charlotte Observer
The Hornets’ coach was asked Monday about LiAngelo Ball’s absence from the training camp roster.
- Yahoo Life
The 56-year-old model is a fashion icon.
The Pitch Perfect star has lost more than 60 lbs. after revamping her diet and exercise habits
- NBC Sports BayArea
Jimmie Ward remained steadfast in his belief that his hit on Davante Adams was clean. And replays back that stance.
- Associated Press
Umpire Bill Miller provided an explanation Monday for a wild sequence during St. Louis' 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs that added another layer of drama to the Cardinals' 16th straight win. A request was made for an explanation after Sunday's game, but a spokesman for the Cubs said it was declined. The play occurred after St. Louis reliever Giovanny Gallegos walked pinch-hitter Austin Romine and Rafael Ortega with one out in the ninth.
- The Telegraph
A totally dominant American team hammered Europe to win the Ryder Cup in a record winning margin on Sunday. Padraig Harrington was at the helm of Europe's crushing loss - and Telegraph Sport looks at seven key areas where the Irishman could have done better.
- FTW Outdoors
A Connecticut angler credited with shattering the state’s white catfish record last month has had that recognition withdrawn.
- Washington Examiner
Woman arrested after being found naked in back seat of Jeep at Florida car dealership: Police report
A Florida woman was arrested after a customer found her naked in the back seat of a Jeep Wrangler at a car dealership, according to police.
- Business Insider
3 Trump associates, including a Marvel exec, tried to get the Department of Veterans Affairs to sell vets' medical records for profit, docs say
The trio, who were based out of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, discussed selling the data with Johnson & Johnson and Apple in 2017, new emails show.
- Saints Wire
Watch: Jameis Winston meets unamused Sean Payton after bizarre TD pass
- Roll Tide Wire
Nick Saban responds to Eli Manning, who said that Jalen Hurts was an Oklahoma QB.