Israel compromises on military draft law, dodges early elections

By Middle East Affairs

Israel‘s government came to an agreement Tuesday on a draft bill that had previously sparked threats of coalition disbandment and early elections.

Moreover, many had believed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was secretly hoping the coalition would fall apart because early elections would help him get out of a corruption probe.

However, Netanyahu had promised to do his best to keep the coalition from falling apart, and shortly after agreement was made, Haaretz reports, he stated that he had kept that promise.

The intention of the bill was to exempt ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from leaving their studies to join the compulsory military draft.

Right-wing secularist parties were against the bill. Both sides threatened to drop out of the coalition if their demands were not met.

But Reuters reports that Netanyahu’s office said agreement had been reached about an hour before the preliminary vote and that the legislation would be finalized after April.

“We have decided to continue together for the benefit of the citizens ofIsraeland for the benefit of the state ofIsrael,” Netanyahu told parliament.

The next election is not until November 2019.

Netanyahu has several bribing and corruption cases against him, but it could take months before the attorney general decides whether to indict the prime minister.

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