JERUSALEM, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu secured a majority in parliament for his coalition government after he signed a deal with a right-wing party, his Likud party said Thursday.
After striking the deal with the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Netanyahu's coalition has a comfortable majority of 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament.
"We have completed another step toward the establishment of a right-wing government that will act for the benefit of all Israel's citizens," Netanyahu said in a statement issued by the Likud party, where he serves as the chairperson.
Under the deal, Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri will serve as the interior minister and health minister during the first half of the government's term and then will take the helm of the finance ministry for the second half, according to the statement.
He will also serve as deputy prime minister.
Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving leader, is expected to return to power only a year and a half after he was ousted.
Under Israeli law, Netanyahu is required to present a coalition government before a mid-December deadline or the president would appoint another lawmaker to try to form a government. ■