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Netanyahu: We will use summer to ‘reach agreements within us’

The government will “take advantage of the summer recess” in order to “reach agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said ahead of Sunday morning’s weekly cabinet meeting.

“I hope that this time our outstretched hand will not be left hanging,” the prime minister said. “It is possible to arrive at agreements, it is necessary to arrive at agreements, and a large majority in the public understands this public truth,” Netanyahu added.

The prime minister’s remarks came after a number of Likud ministers and Knesset members expressed over the weekend their resolve to pass any additional judicial reform legislation with broad consensus and agreement with the opposition. These included MKs Eli Dalal, Yuli Edelstein, David Bitan, and, reportedly, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning, “For all those who are quick to celebrate the ‘rebellion’ in the Likud – this is what democracy looks like. Yes, there are parties in which it is permitted to express a variety of opinions,” Cohen wrote.

Culture and Sports Minister Mickey Zohar said, “I propose to all the commentators who speak about a ‘rebellion in the Likud’ to cool the excitement. They have talked about a rebellion for years, and in the meanwhile, the Likud has always progressed together. We are unified and united, that is how it is when there is ideology and a worldview,” Zohar said.

Sunday’s cabinet meeting at the Knesset/ (credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Jerusalem Post)

Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter also commented on the calls not to pass any more judicial reform legislation without consensus. In an interview on KAN Reshet Bet on Sunday morning, Dichter said that he, too, supported consensus legislation, but that he “was not aware of a rebellion in the Likud” and that he had not coordinated with other moderate voices on the matter.

Likud quashes rumors of rebellion within party

The Likud in a statement on Saturday night said, “There is no rebellion in Likud. Everyone wants to come to an agreement and you have to make an effort for that – but without giving the veto to the other side. Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu will work with all his strength to lead the continuation of the legislation with broad agreements in the future as well, as much as possible.”

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