Officials: Israeli government deal to be signed

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Associated Press

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 5:33 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 6:04 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A parliamentary official says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign a formal deal Friday with two leading parties to form a new coalition government.

Noga Katz, a spokeswoman for Netanyahu's Likud-Yisrael Beitenu faction, says leaders of the Yesh Atid and Jewish Home parties have given up last-minute demands to be named deputy prime ministers. Those last-minute demands delayed the deal from being formalized.

An official with the Yesh Atid party, Netanyahu's leading partner, said that the matter was resolved, and new coalition partners would sign a coalition agreement Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been formalized.

The new government is expected to curb preferential treatment for Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority and may push for renewed Mideast peace efforts.

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