Benjamin Netanyahu Could Lose PM Job

Benjamin Netanyahu- Jerusalem: Israeli nationalist Naftali Bennett said on Sunday she would join a powerful coalition government that would end the rule of the country’s longest-serving leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Lawmakers opposed to Netanyahu’s right-wing party were in deep talks ahead of Wednesday’s deadline, such as a ceasefire agreement that had been set up after a deadly military coup with the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu, 71, who faces charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust, has denied the allegations, holding the government in a state of political turmoil that has held unprecedented elections within two years.

The March vote saw Netanyahu’s Likik party win more seats but failed to form a government.

Opposition leader and former TV founder Jair Lapid now has until Wednesday evening to form a rival coalition.

Lapid, 57, wants a separate federation the Israeli media has called the alliance “revolutionary”, which will include Bennett as well as Arab-Israeli lawyers.

In his determination to bring down the hawkish prime minister, Lapid has promised to share power and allow Bennett, 49, to run for the first time in a rotating premiership.

Bennett, after meeting with members of his patriotic party, Yamina, said on Sunday: “I will do everything to create a national unity government with my friend Jair Lapid.”

Lapid and Bennett’s parties began talks on Sunday night to form a formal agreement, the statement said.

Religious leader Yamina won seven seats in the March 23 election, but one member refused to join the anti-Netanyahu coalition.

Benjamin Netanyahu who has been in office for 12 consecutive years after a long three-year hiatus, in a televised address a few minutes later condemned the program, calling it a “security threat to Israel”.

‘Position of despair’

Earlier on Sunday he tried to hold on to power by giving his own final power-sharing agreement to his non-aligned colleagues including Bennett.

He warned Israel that otherwise they would be ruled by a dangerous alliance of “left wings”.

Lapid has until Wednesday at 11:59 pm local time (2059 GMT) to build a coalition of at least 61 deputies, most of them in the Knesset with 120 seats.

The frustrated government will also include Netanyahu’s centrist Blue and White party rival Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz and the hawkish group New Hope of his former friend Gideon Saar.

Avigdor Lieberman’s solution to the crisis is Yisrael Beitenu as well as the historically powerful Labor and the dovish Meretz team will also join.

Sustainable planning will need the support of some Arab-Israeli lawmakers from Palestine to pass a confirmation vote in parliament.

The heated talks follow tense weeks of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, including the deadly 11-day rockets in Gaza and airstrikes in Israel.

The war with Hamas, which ended in a May 21 agreement, and the violence in the West Bank, which was inhabited and mixed with Jewish and Arab cities in Israel, initially seemed to leave Netanyahu more likely to hold on to power.

But political scientist Gayil Talshir of Hebrew University told AFP on Sunday that Israel was now “closer than ever” to the coalition, adding: “Netanyahu is in critical condition”.

Netanyahu‘s Likud party won 30 seats in the March election but failed to form a ruling coalition after its right-wing allies refused to stay with Arab parties or gain their support.

Lapid, whose party won 17 seats, was given four weeks to form a government.

Netanyahu had previously cast another election – the fifth in Israel in more than two years.

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