Coalition Leaders Give Undecided Elkin Extra Cabinet Portfolio

New Hope's Ze'ev Elkin to receive extra cabinet portfolio, in addition to housing minister nomination. Yamina's Nir Orbach had been target of intense pressure from the right to vote against the new government

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
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Zeev Elkin, a lawmaker from Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope party, has agreed to take on the Knesset-cabinet liaison protfolio in the propsed Bennett-Lapid government, in addition to his nomination as housing minister, coalition leaders said in a statement.

Reports on Israeli media said Elkin was uncertain he would back the proposed government in a confidence vote slated for Sunday, but coalition leaders Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, in a joint statement, called them "ridiculous spins."

They did, however, also said they've agreed with Elkin on his nomination during a four-way meeting at Sa'ar's home.

"This is a young government, and we need Elkin's vast experience and wisdom to face the major challenges ahead, and first and foremost passing a budget," they said.

Elkin presented several conditions for his support for the proposed government, mostly relating to settlement expansion and opposition to any moves toward renewed negotiations with the Palestinians.

Ahead of the meeting, Elkin said in a tweet he was "committed to New Hope... and the agreements we've reached."