Israeli Far-right Parties End Feud That Could Have Threatened Coalition Talks

Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich had reportedly disagreed over the latter's demands, one of which was to grant Netanyahu immunity from prosecution

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich speak to reporters, Jerusalem, April 15, 2019.
Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich speak to reporters, Jerusalem, April 15, 2019.Credit: Emil Salman
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The disagreements between the heads of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich, over Smotrich’s demands as part of the coalition talks have been settled, sources close to the parties said Tuesday.

Smotrich had demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be granted immunity from prosecution in the corruption cases against him.

Smotrich also wanted a law to curb the powers of the state comptroller; the comptroller would be barred from intervening in ongoing events and would only be allowed to report findings and recommendations after the fact.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 24Credit: Haaretz

>> Read more: Is Netanyahu seeking immunity from indictment, and what are his options | Explained

But Peretz has announced that the tensions between the heads of the main two parties in the alliance – Habayit Hayehudi and National Union – are now settled after Smotrich promised better coordination beforehand.

Sources close to both sides said the matter was blown out of proportion because of the interests of politicians in both parties, and the alliance was not under threat.

Smotrich said Tuesday the attempts to split the alliance did not come from people close to Peretz and are meant to weaken the alliance in the coalition talks.

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