Israeli deadline to form government to expire

  Israel’s main anti-Netanyahu bloc, led by the centrist Yesh Atid party’s Yair Lapid, has until today to form a

 

Israeli opposition deadline

Photo: Oded Balilty/ AP

Israel’s main anti-Netanyahu bloc, led by the centrist Yesh Atid party’s Yair Lapid, has until today to form a government

The so-called ‘government of change’ requires the support of at least seven other parties – including far right, leftist and Palestinian parties – to build a majority in the 120-seat Knesset and force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out of office. If the bloc fails to form a government, Israel will move one step closer to its fifth election in two and a half years.

If successful, the far right nationalist Yamina Party’s chairman, Naftali Bennett, will be the acting prime minister in the rotation agreement with Lapid. The new arrangement was made possible after Yamina, which had long refused to pick a side in the political spat between Netanyahu and his contenders, announced on Sunday that it would join Lapid’s anti-Netanyahu bloc.

Bennett, who is right of Netanyahu on the political spectrum, is an avid supporter of Israeli settlement expansion and an outspoken critic of the two-state solution. Bennet’s leadership of the country would greenlight the escalation of violence between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas in the short-to medium-term, while also incurring potentially unprecedented levels of repression and human rights violations on Palestinians.

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