Military draft law brews trouble for Netanyahu’s coalition

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders withdrawal from UN Agency
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative governing coalition remains on the verge of collapse on Monday after a night of negotiations over legislation to extend military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The crisis, which could spark early elections, came after ultra-Orthodox parties said they would not support the 2019 state budget unless the draft exemption legislation is approved.

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who heads a hawkish secular party, is the leading coalition member against the draft exemptions.

Lieberman has said that he would only support legislation that is drafted by a committee of military officials.

Report says the crisis comes as Netanyahu faces police allegations of bribery and mounting corruption probes.

Opposition politicians and a leading member of the prime minister’s coalition have accused Netanyahu, who is polling strongly of seeking snap elections as a way to bolster his standing in the event of a criminal indictment.

Netanyahu has said he wants elections only at the end of this government’s term, November 2019. (dpa/NAN)

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