On Sunday, Naftali Benett, leader of the Yamina Party claimed that he would seek to oust Benjamin Netanyahu by forming a coalition government with opponents, which would potentially end Netanyahu’s longstanding position as the Prime Minister of Israel. Netanyahu has served as prime minister for the past 12 years and also held an earlier term in the late 1990s.
As it stands, this announcement would possibly set off a cascading effect, leading up to sending Netanyahu and his dominant Likud party into the opposition in the coming week. “It’s my intention to do my utmost in order to form a national unity government along with my friend Yair Lapid, so that, God willing, together we can save the country from a tailspin and return Israel to its course,” Bennett said.
Lapid and Benett have until the coming Wednesday to complete a deal in which each is expected to serve two years as prime minister in a rotation deal, with Bennett holding the job first. Lapid’s Yesh Atid party said negotiating teams were to meet later Sunday.
In response to Benett’s claims, Netanyahu accused the Yamina leader of betraying the Israeli right-wing and urged nationalist politicians not to join what he called a “leftist government.”“A government like this is a danger to the security of Israel, and is also a danger to the future of the state,” he said.
As it stands, Lapid has reached coalition deals with three other parties so far. If he finalizes a deal with Bennett, the remaining partners are expected to quickly fall into place. Once the coalition is formed, the parties will be given a week to present their coalition to parliament for a formal vote of confidence allowing it to take office.