Rivals Move To Unseat Netanyahu; Israel PM Denounces Yamina Party Leader ‘Working To Join New Government’

Israeli nationalist hardliner Naftali Bennett said he would join a potential coalition government that could end the rule of the country’s longest-serving leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As a ceasefire held following the last deadly military war with Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, lawmakers opposed to right-wing Netanyahu have been in urgent talks ahead of a Wednesday deadline.

Netanyahu, 71, who faces trial on fraud, bribery and breach of trust charges, which he denies, has clung to power throughout a period of political turmoil that has seen four inconclusive elections in under two years.

Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats in a March election, but he was unable to form a government for the second time.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the Yamina party leader after the latter announced that he has been working toward a coalition agreement with opposition leaders to form the new government.

A former ally of Netanyahu on Sunday announced that he is joining the new government with opponent leaders, taking a major step towards ending the rule of Netanyahu’s 12 years as prime minister.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the small right-wing party Yamina, announced Sunday evening he is working toward a coalition agreement with Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist party Yesh Atid, to join a new government, CNN reported.

In a prime-time address, Bennett told Israelis that he is joining the new government to prevent a fifth round of elections and “rescue the country from spin.”

“After four elections and a further two months, it has been proven to all of us that there is simply no right-wing government possible that is headed by Netanyahu. It is either a fifth election or a unity government,” Bennett said.

A short while after Bennett spoke, Netanyahu made a statement of his own in which he denounced the Yamina party leader as a man who cared about nothing other than becoming prime minister, CNN reported.
Reminding Israelis that before the March election Bennett had said he would not sit in a government led by Lapid, Netanyahu said his right-wing rival’s principles did not have the weight of a feather.
“Bennett was trying to pull off the “deception of the century,” Netanyahu said


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(With ANI Inputs)


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