Two reportedly undecided lawmakers from parties committed to joining the proposed Bennett-Lapid government announced on Tuesday that they have decided to support the new government in a confidence vote set for Sunday.
Zeev Elkin, a lawmaker from Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, has agreed to take on the Knesset-cabinet liaison protfolio in the proposed Bennett-Lapid government, in addition to his nomination as housing minister, coalition leaders said in a statement.
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Though he has publicly said he would back the government, sources in Bennett’s Yamina party said that he threatened in private conversations to vote against it.
Yamina lawmaker Nir Orbach also on Tuesday told his party head, Naftali Bennett, that he intends to vote in support of the new government at Sunday’s confidence vote in the Knesset.
In recent days, Orbach had debated whether he should back the proposed Bennett-Lapid government. Orbach was also the target of immense public pressure on the political right to vote against forming the anti-Netanyahu government.
Reports on Israeli media said Elkin was uncertain he would back the proposed government in a confidence vote slated for Sunday, but coalition leaders Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, in a joint statement, called them “ridiculous spins.”
They did, however, also said they’ve agreed with Elkin on his nomination during a four-way meeting at Sa’ar’s home.
“This is a young government, and we need Elkin’s vast experience and wisdom to face the major challenges ahead, and first and foremost passing a budget,” they said.
Elkin presented several conditions for his support for the proposed government, mostly relating to settlement expansion and opposition to any moves toward renewed negotiations with the Palestinians.
Ahead of the meeting, Elkin said in a tweet he was “committed to New Hope… and the agreements we’ve reached.”