Saturday, June 19, 2021

Israel coalition government a threat to security, warns Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that a proposed unity government aimed at replacing him would be a danger to the country’s security. He urged fellow right-wingers not to back a deal after ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett said he would form a coalition with a centrist party. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opponents have until Wednesday to form a government. If they are successful, it would bring to an end the rule of the country’s longest-serving prime minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu, faces serious corruption charges and could go to jail, fell short of a decisive majority at a general election in March. It was the country’s fourth inconclusive vote in two years – and again he failed to secure coalition allies. But his opponents may only be able to form a minority government, propped up by Arab members of parliament.

On Monday, the centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid warned that many obstacles remained before a unity government could be formed.

Tensions remain following the recent Gaza conflict, which also triggered inter-communal clashes in Israeli cities between Jews and Arabs.

Some Arab politicians could be reluctant to back a government led by Mr Bennett, who is a staunch supporter of Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank – land.

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