The representatives from the Finance Ministry, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu announced that they have reached a deal that will expand the coalition to 66 MKs. The agreement is expected to be signed later today.

Photo Credit: Miriam Alster (FLASH90)/Channel 2 News

The Likud announced this morning (Wednesday) that the negotiations between the coalition and Yisrael Beiteinu have come to an end. The last issue that was discussed by the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu negotiation teams, along with representatives from the Finance Ministry, was related to the pension stipends for immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The coalition agreement is expected to be signed by the sides at 11:00 AM today. In the coming days, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman is expected to become Israel’s Defense Minister.

After Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu representatives announced yesterday evening that they were “on the verge of a breakthrough,” professional teams were able to formulate drafts regarding the pension issue overnight. It appears that an equitable agreement, the cost of which is estimated at 1.4 billion shekels, will be signed.

Last night, after several hours of deadlock as the result of the dispute over the issue, negotiations between the sides resumed. It is estimated that the current terms of the pension agreement are closer to the requirements of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon than Lieberman’s original demands.

In addition to the issue of pensions, Yisrael Beiteinu also demanded that rent benefits be afforded to the former Soviet Union immigrants but the Finance Ministry opposed this condition, stating that it was a sectorial demand.