JERUSALEM, March 14 (Xinhua) -- A new Israeli government is underway as initial agreements were reached overnight Wednesday between three major parties, Likud's spokesperson Noga Katz confirmed to Xinhua on Thursday.
The three major parties attended the negotiation are the Likud, the Jewish Home and Yesh Atid.
The agreements were drafted overnight Wednesday after Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennet reached a compromise between Yesh Atid' s Lapid and the Likud's Netanyahu over the identity of the next education minister.
The Jewish Home's committee is set to approve the agreement, as required by the party's protocol, throughout Thursday. The deadline for the formation of the next government is only two days away.
The agreements will be signed throughout the day and then handed to the Knesset (parliament) and President Shimon Peres for a approval. The new government will be inaugurated early next week.
The agreements mark a small victory for newcomer Yair Lapid, who had made substantial achievement in the negotiations.
As the second largest party in the Knesset, Lapid received the coveted education portfolio; he managed to substantially reduce the amount of ministers in the government from a planned 35 to 22 and include two topics in the agreements within his party's platform: resuming peace talks with the Palestinians and working to equalize the burden in Israeli society.
Lapid will serve as the next finance minister while his number 2, Rabbi Shai Piron, would be the education minister (after a heavy battle over the position with outgoing minister Gideon Sa'ar, who will serve as internal affairs minister.)
The defense minister will be Moshe Ya'alon, former minister of strategic threats and the military's chief of staff in the early 2000's.
As for the foreign ministry, Netanyahu will hold on to the portfolio, reserving it for his runner up in the Likud-Beytenu roster, Avigdor Lieberman, who is currently on trial for fraud and breach of trust charges. As for the Jewish Home, its leader Naftali Bennet would serve as minister of industry, trade and labor and another member of his hawkish, far-right party, MK Uri Ariel, will be designated housing minister, in charge, among others, over the construction of the West Bank settlements. The party will also head the Knesset's finance committee.
Other ministers include centrist politician Tzipi Livni as the justice minister who will be in charge of the negotiations procedures with the Palestinians.
As for the content of the agreements, Lapid and Bennet forced Netanyahu to agree on a bill proposal concerning the need to equalize the burden in the Israeli society, to be handed in by the government before it passes its 2013-2014 budget.
In addition, the agreements stipulate that ultra-Orthodox educational institutions must teach core subjects like math and English as well as financial reforms to incorporate the ultra- Orthodox in the workplace along with reducing benefits for unemployed individuals.
Yesh Atid also demanded to immediately resume the negotiations table with the Palestinians aiming to revive the process that was halted in 2010 over Israel's construction in the settlements. The parties also agreed to raise the next threshold for the Knesset to four percent of the votes rather than two.
The incumbent prime minister wished after the elections to build a "wide coalition" to include both the ultra-Orthodox and the center-left Labor party, but the Labor's chief, Shelly Yachimovich, refused to enter the government over wide gaps in socioeconomic agendas.