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Israel's Kadima Party pulls out of ruling coalition over 'differences' with Netanyahu's policies.

Washington, July 18 ( ANI ): Israel's centrist Kadima Party has pulled out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government over differences on exemptions for conservatives from military service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kadima Party chief Shaul Mofaz and Netanyahu had earlier said they were forming their coalition to create a national consensus on the contentious issue of requiring tens of thousands of strictly religious young adults to share the burden of mandatory enlistment instead of receiving government support for full-time religious studies.

However, eventually, Mofaz and his Kadima Party demanded a more stringent military draft, with less time for deferrals and heavy fines for draft dodgers, while Netanyahu favored a plan more deferential to ultra-orthodox political parties in his coalition, who resist the change.

"When it was necessary to decide between those carrying the burden and draft-dodging, Benjamin Netanyahu sided with the draft dodgers," Mofaz said in a news conference to announce that he had informed Netanyahu of Kadima's withdrawal from the coalition.

Netanyahu answered Mofaz in a statement saying that he regretted the decision, but that he favored a gradual elimination of the draft exemption that he said wouldn't drive a rift between the insular ultra-orthodox community and mainstream Israel.

The party's departure narrows the coalition government from 94 to 66 seats in the 120-member parliament, leaving Netanyahu more dependent on right wing and religious parties in his coalition. ( ANI )


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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 18, 2012
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