Reported deal with UTJ expands ultra-Orthodox say over policies, plus other goodies

Reports detailing a coalition deal between ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism and Likud say the agreement includes several clauses funneling benefits to the Haredi community, and will create a special committee to look into the issue of power generation on Shabbat, as well as giving the rabbinate a say over other public projects that could run up against Jewish law.

The deal also includes support for controversial far-reaching changes to the judicial system, including giving the Knesset the power to override court vetoes of laws ruled unconstitutional and reforms to the way judges are chosen, as well as giving ministers authority to appoint ministerial legal advisors, instead of the current system which places them under the authority of the Justice Ministry.

The deal, which has yet to be signed, includes a commitment to legislate moves already struck down by the High Court, including giving members of the ultra-Orthodox community a pass on mandatory military service and banning people from bringing leavened hametz into hospitals over Passover.

New schools and public transportation systems will be directed to ultra-Orthodox communities before other parts of the country under the reported agreement.

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