Signing of Coalition Deal Between Lieberman, Netanyahu Delayed

Agreement was supposed to be signed by Sunday afternoon, but negotiations hampered over Yisrael Beiteinu's demand for pension plan reform.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset.
Tess Scheflan

The finalization of the coalition deal between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu has encountered a hurdle on Sunday, after the deal was expected to be signed in the afternoon. 

The negotiation teams were waiting for the Finance Ministry to hand over the outline for a reform in the pension plans for Russian immigrants, one of the conditions posed by Yisrael Beiteinu for entering the coalition. 

"We're still working on it," a source in the Finance Ministry told Haaretz. 

The deal will most likely be postponed for later Sunday or even Monday. 

Speaking at a meeting of Likud cabinet members Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would remain foreign minister and continue to work to bring the main opposition party, Zionist Union, into the coalition.

Earlier on Sunday, a Likud source involved in the talks said that the death penalty for murder in a terror act that Lieberman seeks will only apply to military courts. Such a move, which Lieberman demands if his party is to join the government, would effectively exclude its application against Jews.