Israel coalition government a threat to security, warns Netanyahu

Israel coalition government a threat to security, warns Netanyahu
Centrist party leader Yair Lapid (L) is reportedly close to reaching a deal with the ultra-nationalist leader Naftali Bennett. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: After weakens his grip on power, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has warned that a proposed new coalition government would be “a danger for the security” of the country.

He urged right-wing politicians not to support a deal after Naftali Bennett, an ultra-nationalist leader, said he would join talks with centrist Yair Lapid.

Mr Lapid has until Wednesday is about to form a new coalition government.

If successful, it would end Mr Netanyahu’s time as Israel’s longest serving prime minister.

Mr Netanyahu 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.

“Don’t form a left-wing government – such a government is a danger to Israel’s security and future,” Netanyahu, who has been in power for 12 years and faces charge for fraud, said on Sunday. He did not elaborate.

Israel’s Prime Minister accused Mr Bennett of “misleading the public” and of carrying out “the fraud of the century” – a reference to the Yamina party leader’s previous public promises not to join forces with Mr Lapid.

Mr Bennett earlier announced that his party would join talks to form a governing coalition in a televised address.

“Mr Netanyahu is no longer trying to form a right-wing government because he knows full well that there is not one. He is seeking to take the whole national camp, and the whole country, with him on his personal last stand,” Mr Bennett said.

Israeli media reported that Mr Bennett would replace Mr Netanyahu as prime minister, under the deal, and later give way to Mr Lapid, 57, in a rotation agreement. The arrangement has not been officially confirmed.

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