TEL Aviv — The leaders of Israel’s two main opposition parties said they would work together to form a coalition government on Sunday. in a manner that may cause Benjamin Netanyahu is not sitting as prime minister for the first time in 12 years.
Naftali Bennett, leader of the Yamina religious and nationalist minority group, and Yaer Lapid, the central opposition leader of the Yeshthid Party, said they had joined forces.
“In the past two years Israel is in the electoral circle. An internal struggle without a leader,” Bennett said in a televised announcement on Sunday. “This will never happen again. We can stop this and control it. There is no option for a right-wing government led by Netanyahu – whether it be a change of government or new elections.”
“No one believes Netanyahu anymore,”; Bennett added. “During this crisis I am saying that I intend to form a national unity government with Lapid.”
Yesh Atid said on Friday that an agreement had been reached with Israel’s left-wing Meretz party, the New Hope Party, a hard-headed nationalist group made up mostly of former Netanyahu ally. and the Social Democratic Workers Party, which ruled the country for decades after the country’s founding in 1948.
Teams from both sides will meet in the evening and begin talks to form a unified government, Yesh Atid said.
Netanyahu appeared on television on Sunday following the announcement. By claiming that Bennett shouldn’t take it seriously because he just wants to be prime minister and “zigzag”.
“What will Iran say when they see a left-wing government? Will they fight with Hamas?” Netanyahu said. “This is counterproductive. This is not a national unity government. but an anti-Zionist government. This is an opposing government. And we shouldn’t let this happen.”
At least 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset or parliament. Must be a Majority The 28-day mandate for Lapid to form a new government expires on Wednesday.
Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday that he had signed an “extensive” proposal for Bennett and New Hope party leader Gideon Sar to “prevent the formation of a dangerous leftist government.” “He will allow both of them to serve as prime ministers, he said.
Bennett, former Secretary of Defense did not comment on his announcement.
The new alliance comes just days after the ceasefire that ended the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas. which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people
Violence erupted amid a power vacuum in Israel following March’s fourth election in two years, with no clear winner.
Despite repeated meetings with his rivals and reaching the leaders of a small group of Arab Islamist parties like never before Netanyahu failed to meet the deadline for forming a new coalition government earlier this month.
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Netanyahu, 71, has been a leader since 2009 but legal troubles in recent years have overshadowed his legacy. last month A massive corruption trial began against him for fraud, bribery and breach of trust. He denied all wrongdoing and said he was a victim of “Witch Hunt”
Netanyahun will remain leader of the Likud party as the leader of the opposition.
over the years He has become a divisive figure in Israeli politics. This alienated many former allies during his long tenure. The three parties in the latest election are led by a former top aide who has fallen against him.
The new government is expected to be sworn in as soon as June 8, Israel’s Channel 12 reported ahead of the announcement.
It said Bennett would serve as prime minister for the first two years and three months of the revolving government. Lapid would then take office in September 2023 over two years and three months.
Paul Goldman reports from Tel Aviv and Yuliya Talmazan from London.
related news agencies and Doha Madani contribute