Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition chairman MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) reached a surprise agreement early Tuesday morning to form a national unity government.Sources in Kadima told Haaretz that Mofaz is expected to be appointed as a minister in the government. Likud sources confirmed this, adding that they expected that Mofaz would become a minister without portfolio.The dramatic announcement, which has yet to receive official confirmation, came as the Knesset was conducting early-morning discussions ahead of an expected vote to disperse in advance of early elections. Earlier in the evening, 119 MKs voted to approve in its first reading a bill to disperse the body, with only one lawmaker opposed.
Just hours after the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, it appears as though no early elections will be held.Kol Yisrael radio reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz have reached an agreement to form a national unity government.
A unity government is likely to harm the Labor Party, which has gained strength in the polls, as well as Yair Lapid's party, as he will now have to wait until the current Knesset completes its term in order to run.
A unity government would definitely help Kadima which, according to all polls, was set to suffer a dramatic blow in the next election.
Likud ministers complained about the move.
"Why are we giving Kadima a lifeline after it was bleeding to death," one minister asked.One possibility for a new government is that Mofaz and other Kadima ministers will be given ministry without portfolio in return for a commitment to not topple the government for at least a year.
Egypt’s Islamists aim to install a global Islamic caliphate with its capital in Jerusalem, a radical Muslim preacher told thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in a clip released Monday.“We can see how the dream of the Islamic caliphate is being realized, God willing, by Dr. Mohamed Mursi,” Safwat Higazi told thousands of Brotherhood supporters at a Cairo soccer stadium as Mursi – the movement’s presidential candidate – and other Brotherhood officials nodded in agreement.“The capital of the caliphate – the capital of the United States of the Arabs – will be Jerusalem, God willing,” Higazi said. “Our capital shall not be in Cairo, Mecca or Medina,” he said, before leading the crowd in chants of “Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.”
Members of the crowd carried banners emblazoned with slogans related to next week’s “Nakba Day,” when Palestinians and other Arabs mourn Israel’s creation in 1948.
Returning to the stage, Mursi vowed to pray in Jerusalem. “Yes, Jerusalem is our goal. We shall pray in Jerusalem, or die as martyrs on its threshold.”
Raymond Stock, an American translator and academic who spent two decades in Egypt, said the clip should come as a surprise to no one.
“This is what the Muslim Brotherhood really stands for: the extermination of Israel – and Jews everywhere – as well as the spread and control of radical Islam over the world,” he told The Jerusalem Post.
The European Union told Iran on Monday it "must" suspend uranium enrichment, a few days after the Islamic state ruled out doing just that, as Tehran and the West engaged in diplomatic shadow-boxing ahead of nuclear talks this month.Iran and the six major powers resumed discussions last month in Istanbul after a gap of more than a year - a chance to ease escalating tension and avert the threat of a new Middle East war - and both sides described the atmosphere as positive.The next meeting between the powers - the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany - and Iran is to take place on May 23 in the Iraqi capital. Iranian officials say they are "optimistic" about making progress.But with Iran seeking an end to sanctions and Western states reluctant to ease the pressure they credit with bringing Tehran to the negotiating table, diplomats are already playing down the chances of a settlement in Baghdad.