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As coalition talks hit a snag, Smotrich says his party will ‘stand by our demands’

Likud leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Religious Zionism party head MK Bezalel Smotrich as party chiefs pose for a group photograph during the swearing-in ceremony of the 25th Knesset, November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)
Likud leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Religious Zionism party head MK Bezalel Smotrich as party chiefs pose for a group photograph during the swearing-in ceremony of the 25th Knesset, November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)

Religious Zionism chief Bezalel Smotrich says his party will stand by its demands as coalition negotiations with prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu appear to have hit a snag.

“It cannot be that every time we don’t stand to attention to the Likud demands there are those who will turn us into enemies, incite against us and demean us,” Smotrich tweets, sharing a post from a Likud supporter comparing the MK to Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar.

Smotrich has been demanding he be given the post of defense minister — which Netanyahu opposes — or finance minister — which Shas chief Aryeh Deri refuses to back down from — leading to a reported deadlock in talks.

Smotrich says his party is “a full partner of the national camp and of the Likud. We will stand by our demands in order to ensure the establishment of a stable, good government as soon as possible, that will do good and lead real right-wing policies.”

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