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Finance Minister Threatens to Leave Coalition if Haredim Join

Finance Minister and Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avidgor Liberman on Monday warned the government not to recruit Haredi lawmakers for the coalition and threatened to bolt the government if Haredi factions join.

Speaking at a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting Monday afternoon, criticized efforts by coalition leaders, including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) to convince Haredi lawmakers to join the government.

“I heard about all different officials wanting to have Shas or United Torah Judaism join the coalition,” said Liberman. “I want to make things clear: If that happens and they are brought in, Yisrael Beytenu won’t be there. It would mean bringing Netanyahu back into power.”

Liberman also responded to the Meretz party’s recent meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, expressing his disagreement with the meeting, which he attributed to Meretz trying to please its base.

“I’ve never met Abbas because I don’t believe he wants peace. I think that the whole thing is unnecessary, but I understand the Meretz ministers. They have their voters. Obviously, the government is diverse, so you need to be flexible.” (INN / VFI News)