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In last minute offer, Gantz proposes Likud meet him half-way on veterans scholarship bill

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left,  Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, center, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset, on May 16, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, center, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attend a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset, on May 16, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has proposed a compromise to his legislation aimed at providing scholarships for IDF combat veterans in an effort to gain the support of opposition MKs needed to pass the bill.

The original legislation offers to cover two-thirds of tuition costs for recently discharged soldiers. The Likud party has refused to back the measure, saying it would only do so if 100 percent of the tuition costs were covered.

In a last-minute move, just before the vote was about to be held in the Knesset, Gantz told the plenum that he was prepared to alter the bill so that it would cover 75% of tuition costs.

The offer is made amid reports that the 60-MK coalition did not even have the support of the 4-member, Islamist Ra’am party as well as renegade Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, who announced last week that she was quitting the bloc only to walk back the move several days later.

The ball now appears to be in the Likud’s court.

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