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Israeli opposition parties close to final deal to replace Netanyahu

The couple have until Wednesday to complete an agreement in which they are each expected to serve two years as prime minister in a rotation agreement.
JERUSALEM - The leader of a small hard-line party said on Sunday that he would try to form a unity government with opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, taking an important step to end the 12-year rule of the Israeli leader.

In a national speech, Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett said he had decided to join forces with the country's opposition leader Yair Lapid.
"It is my intention to do everything possible to form a government of national unity together with my friend Yair Lapid, so that, God willing, together we can save the country from a nosedive and return Israel to its course," said Bennett. .

The couple have until Wednesday to complete an agreement in which they are each expected to serve two years as prime minister in a rotation agreement. Lapid's Yesh Atid party said the negotiating teams would meet later on Sunday.

A unity government would end the cycle of stagnation that has plunged the country into four inconclusive elections in the past two years. It would also end, at least for the moment, the unprecedented tenure of Netanyahu, the most dominant figure in Israeli politics for the past three decades.

In his own televised statement, Netanyahu accused Bennett of betraying the Israeli right.

He urged nationalist politicians who have joined the coalition talks not to establish what he called a "left government."

"A government like this is a danger to the security of Israel and it is also a danger to the future of the state," he said.

Bennett, a former Netanyahu aide turned rival, said he was taking a dramatic step to avoid other elections. While sharing Netanyahu's nationalist ideology, Bennett said there was no viable way for the hard-line right wing to form a ruling majority in parliament.

"A government like this will be successful only if we work together as a group," he said.
He said that everyone “will have to postpone the fulfillment of all their dreams. We will focus on what can be done, instead of fighting all day for what is impossible. "

Each of the last four elections was seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, who has become a polarizing figure as he faces trial on corruption charges, and each ended in stalemate.

Netanyahu is desperate to stay in power while he is on trial. He has used his office as a stage to rally support and lash out at police, prosecutors and the media.

If your opponents fail to form a government and new elections are triggered, it would give you another chance to see the election of a parliament that is in favor of granting you procedural immunity. But if they are successful, he will find himself in the much weaker position of leader of the opposition and possibly face unrest in his Likud party.

Netanyahu, who has accused Bennett of betraying the Israeli right, planned a televised statement later on Sunday.

To form a government, the leader of a party must secure the support of a majority of 61 seats in parliament. Because no single party controls the majority on its own, coalitions are generally built with smaller partners.

As the leader of the largest party, Netanyahu had the country's president's first chance to form a coalition. But he was unable to secure a majority with his traditional religious and nationalist allies.

Netanyahu even tried to woo a small Islamist Arab party, but was thwarted by a small ultra-nationalist party with a racist anti-Arab agenda. Although Arabs make up about 20% of Israel's population, an Arab party has never before sat in an Israeli coalition government.

After Netanyahu's failure to form a government, Lapid was given four weeks to improvise a coalition. You have until Wednesday to complete homework.
Lapid has already faced a difficult challenge, given the wide range of parties in the anti-Netanyahu bloc that have little in common. They include moderate left-wing parties, a couple of right-wing nationalist parties, including Yamina de Bennett, and most likely the Islamist United Arab List.

Lapid's task was made even more difficult after war broke out with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on May 10. Their coalition talks were suspended during the 11 days of fighting.

But with the Wednesday deadline looming, negotiations have accelerated. Lapid has reached coalition agreements with three other parties so far. If a deal with Bennett ends, the remaining partners are expected to snap in quickly.

Written by saadghufran25

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