UTJ, Likud resolve coalition differences

Teams from UTJ and Likud finalize a draft for a coalition agreement several hours after UTJ representatives abruptly walked out of a coalition meeting claiming the Likud reneged on promises it made to the ultra-Orthodox party on child subsidies before the election.

According to NRG, the UTJ reps left the negotiating table “dramatically, creating an artificial atmosphere of crisis.”

Likud officials meanwhile were unfazed, dismissing the theatrics as well-worn tactics for the last week of coalition talks. “We’re not excited by anything at this point and by now, sadly, we also have to deal with this type of thing,” an unnamed senior Likud official was quoted by NRG as saying.

UTJ eventually gave up on its original demand, namely that child subsidies be raised retroactively to the beginning of 2015. Instead subsidies will be raised from the moment raising them is voted on in the Knesset.

If the UTJ Council of Torah Sages approves the draft agreement, UTJ will be the first party to sign a coalition deal.