Netanyahu meets with Litzman, Kahlon in attempt to end coalition crisis

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Netanyahu met with leaders of the ultra-Orthodox parties on Saturday night, after which he said they were working on a draft for the bill that would meet legal and political demands.

The political tremor comes as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is battling a slew of corruption allegations over accepting gifts from billionaire friends and claims that he unlawfully engineered favourable media coverage for himself and his family.

Recent opinion polls showed that Netanyahu still enjoys strong public support and his Likud party could win the most seats in the upcoming elections, despite the corruption investigations.

"One thing is clear - we can not maintain a 61-member coalition", Netanyahu said, alluding to Liberman's threats to quit the government unless a solution to the military draft bill dispute is found. Netanyahu proceeded to accuse members of his own Likud party of sabotaging the negotiations. At the same time, the issue that started the crisis, the military draft bill, appears to be resolved, after the Haredim have received a green light from their various Torah sages to reach a compromise.

The meeting came after Rabbi leaders rejected a suggested compromise, stating that the ultra-Orthodox parties will not vote in favor of the 2019 budget unless the conscription bill would be passed first.

"If you bring down a right-wing government and lead us to unnecessary elections for personal aims, you will lose us", Bennett added on Twitter, apparently hinting at withdrawing future support for Netanyahu if the prime minister is indicted. The prime minister said that if the coalition partners were willing and committed to solving the issue, there was no reason to dissolve the Knesset and call an early election.

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"If the prime minister will decide to take the whole country to personal elections that will cost billions, that will paralyse the market, then that's really serious and the public will settle accounts with him", coalition partner and education minister Naftali Bennett told Israeli Army Radio.

"All the rest is a fake crisis".

Also on Sunday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation was due to debate the compromise bill on haredi conscription, despite the fact that it was submitted after the committee's agenda was officially set.

Many speculated that Netanyahu, besieged with corruption charges, would utilize this fracture over the bill to call for a snap elections as a way of bolstering his rule.

Netanyahu said Saturday prior to meeting with the religious party leaders that he did not want an early election.

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