CMEP Bulletin: Election Shocker, Prisoners Continue Hunger Strike
CMEP weekly update
Elections Cancelled After Late-Night Deal
In a stunning turn of events, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the elections slated for September and broadened his coalition by striking a deal with Shaul Mofaz, leader of the opposition party Kadima. Kadima is the largest single party Knesset and after the deal, 94 out of the 120 legislators are in Netanyahu’s coalition. This arguably makes Netanyahu the strongest prime minister since David Ben-Gurion in 1948. It is unclear at the moment what effect this turn of events could have on several important issues, including the peace process, military service for Orthodox yeshiva students, settlements, and Iran.
The two men struck a deal early Tuesday morning unbeknownst to several Knesset members preparing for an all night session to dissolve the legislative body in preparation for the elections. The gossip about a deal started around 1:00 AM when a security guard told someone he saw Netanyahu and Mofaz on the Knesset compound. The tired Knesset members in the cafeteria were abuzz as rumors swirled. At 2:00 AM, members of Likud, Kadima and Labor parties finally assembled in a room where Netanyahu informed them of the deal.
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