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Caving to Haredim, Netanyahu said to agree to soften bill hiking lockdown fines

United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in the Knesset on November 24, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)
United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in the Knesset on November 24, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/File)

After the ultra-Orthodox parties threatened to nix the political alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a bill to double fines for lockdown violations, the premier has reportedly agreed to a move that will sabotage the legislation, which passed its first reading today, and replace it with a softened version.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, Netanyahu has agreed with the Haredi parties that the bill will now go to the Knesset’s Constitution Law and Justice Committee, headed by United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov Asher, who will be able to hold it up.

Channel 12 reports that under a compromise being drafted, fines will be raised but not doubled, and lower-ranking cops will not be able to issue some of the fines.

The ultra-Orthodox news website Behadrei Haredim earlier published the content of an angry exchange between Netanyahu and United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni, who said: “What would you do without the ultra-Orthodox? Are we your slaves? We have much to think about regarding this alliance.”

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