Livni’s Hatnua signs first coalition deal with Netanyahu


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hatnua, led by Tzipi Livni, became the first party to sign a coalition deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The deal signed Tuesday comes nearly a month after national elections, following which President Shimon Peres tapped Netanyahu to form a new coalition government.

Under the agreement, Livni will serve as justice minister, be a member of the security cabinet and head future peace talks with the Palestinians.

The former opposition leader’s new party received six seats in the 19th Knesset. Hatnua reportedly also will receive the Environmental Protection Ministry in the new government.

"Two-and-a-half months ago my colleagues and I formed Hatnua, and we vowed to fight for a diplomatic agreement, even if it doesn’t pay off politically," Livni told reporters after signing the agreement. "This led to a partnership with the prime minister after I was permitted to negotiate with the aim of ending the conflict with the Palestinians."

Livni is a former Israeli foreign minister and a former head of the Kadima party.

Netanyahu has less than two weeks left to form a government.

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