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Talks between Lapid and Bennett said stuck over which bloc gets defense portfolio

Jewish Home chair Naftali Bennett (L) speaks with Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid in the Knesset plenum, March 11, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Jewish Home chair Naftali Bennett (L) speaks with Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid in the Knesset plenum, March 11, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Negotiations between Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and Yamina head Naftali Bennett have hit a roadblock over the issue of which of their respective blocs will receive the post of defense minister, Channel 13 reports.

Bennett, who would lead a 13-MK bloc of Yamina and New Hope, is insisting that the portfolio be in his hands in addition to the premiership. According to the report, Bennett wants to give the defense position to New Hope chair Gideon Sa’ar, which would then allow him to give the justice portfolio to Ayelet Shaked.

Lapid, who leads a 45-MK bloc of Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, Labor and Meretz, has insisted on keeping the defense portfolio for his substantially larger bloc.

The sides are also split on the number of ministries, with Yamina demanding a whopping 25 (still smaller than the current 36) and Yesh Atid set on the more modest 18 in order to cut unnecessary spending.

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