November 30, 2023

Senior coalition members believe the government has a secure majority for approving a prisoner release deal, even if ministers from Otzma Yehudit or the Religious Zionist Party oppose it in the vote, especially regarding the release of security prisoners. The primary opponents are expected to come from RZP and Otzma Yehudit. Former soldier Schalit, who was captured by Palestinian terrorists in 2006 and held captive by Hamas for over five years, was released in a prisoner exchange deal in 2011 that freed some 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners. The proposed prisoner exchange deal has also sparked opposition from the RZP. As details of the deal have come to light, the party has voiced its concerns, emphasizing the need to consider Israel’s security, the fate of the kidnapped individuals, and the impact on soldiers.Otzma Yehudit has also expressed concerns about the deal. Likud Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar announced his intention to vote in favor of the deal. Shas leader Arye Deri received the approval of the Council of Sages for the agreement and said his party would support the deal.