Government will have majority to approve hostage deal despite far-right opposition

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

The government will have a majority in the 38-person cabinet to approve a hostage deal, despite opposition from far-right parties Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit, who together hold six cabinet votes.

The war cabinet supports the deal, and will presumably rally 19 votes held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and five belonging to war cabinet minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity party.

The ultra-Orthodox Shas party will also put its six votes toward the emerging hostage deal, says a party spokesperson.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri consulted with the ultra-Orthodox party’s religious advisers, who “instructed” him to put the party’s six cabinet seats behind the deal to “release hostages who are in grave danger,” according to a statement.

Deri was removed from the cabinet earlier this year, but sits as an observer on the war cabinet.

United Torah Judaism, which holds two seats, has yet to publicly express its stances. But according to reports in the Hebrew media, it is set to back the deal.

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