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Naftali Bennett set to replace former adviser Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli prime minister in opposition deal

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s former aide, Naftali Bennett, is on track to replace him as prime minister when Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid announced on Wednesday the formation of a unity government.

Minutes before the midnight deadline, Lapid, who leads the Yesh Atid party, informed outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rilin that he had assembled a persuasive coalition between right-wing, centrist, left-wing and Arab parties that led Netanyahu. Will be removed from power after 12 years. The Office.

“I am proud to tell you that I have been successful in forming the government,” Lapid told the presidential office.

Bennett of the right-wing Yamina Party and Mansoor Abbas of the Islamist Ram Party struck a deal with Lapid during marathon talks between eight parties on the final day of the 28-day mandate.

Yamina barely got 6% of the vote in the March elections.

The proposed government would see a rotational premiership in which Bennett, playing the role of kingmaker, would serve as prime minister for the first two years and Lapid for the next two years. It will be the first time in Israel’s recent history that an Arab party will sit in a ruling coalition.

The newly formed government will have to take oath within 12 days; Odds remain, as Yamina’s defectors could be in the Knesset vote to confirm the alliance.

“After intense labor on the part of all citizens of Israel and a two-year-long political standoff, Yair Lapid, president of Yesh Atid, informed President Rivlin that he had succeeded in forming the government,” Yash Atid said in a statement. .

The move would see Netanyahu stepping down after 12 consecutive years in power – the longest premiership in Israel’s history.

After Lapid and Bennett announced their plans to form a unity government for the first time on Sunday, Netanyahu Was accused Bennett committed the “fraud of the century” by retracting a pre-election pledge that Lapid will never be prime minister.

He further asked whether the future government’s leftist allies, namely Meretz and Labor, would counter Hamas in Gaza and Iran.

“What effect will this have on Israel’s deterrence? How will we see our enemies? What will they say in Iran and Gaza? what will they do Tax In Iran and Gaza? What would they say in the corridors of administration in Washington?

“They wholeheartedly support that dangerous nuclear deal. Will they fight Hamas?” He said it was a “joke”.

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