Shas, Likud sign coalition deal

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Shas and Likud parties signed a government coalition agreement.

Shas on Sunday night became the second party to join the coalition led by Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Israeli media.

Under the agreement, party chairman Eli Yishai will remain a deputy prime minister and be named interior minister. Also, the party will fill the positions of housing minister, religious affairs minister and minister without portfolio. Likud also agreed to raise child allowances over the next three years.

Netanyahu now has a coalition of 53 lawmakers, with Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas. He needs 61 for a narrow majority.

Likud began coalition negotiations Monday with representatives of the Labor Party, which is set to vote Tuesday on party head Ehud Barak’s move to join the government.

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