Israel opposition says unity gov’t deal could oust Netanyahu within days

Jerusalem, May 31 (EFE).- The head of Israel’s opposition on Monday proposed a unity government alliance of contrasting parties be formed in the coming days to dethrone Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years in power.

Yair Lapid, the centrist candidate currently in charge of trying to form a functioning government in Israel after four inconclusive elections in two years, hinted that a deal with the party of ultra-nationalist politician Naftali Bennett was within reach.

“In a week, the state of Israel can be in a new era with a different prime minister,” he told a press conference ahead of a meeting with members of his Yesh Atid party.

Lapid has until Wednesday to confirm the formation of a new government, and then seven days to get it up and running, as per Israel’s election laws.

He called for a unity government between the “right, left and center” that would “represent all citizens of Israel” and put an end to the “division” that, according to him, Netanyahu has sowed in his 12 years as prime minister.

The press conference was the first public address by Lapid since Bennett late Sunday confirmed that his ultraconservative Yamina party would enter negotiations with the centrist leader. The only thing the two politicians have in common is their opposition to Netanyahu.

Negotiations between the two blocs are ongoing but the Israeli press reported Monday that the leaders would alternate as prime minister, starting with Bennett.

Yesh Atid is still trying to shore up support from other anti-Netanyahu parties, such as the Blue and White party of Benny Gantz.

Save for a last-minute U-turn from Bennett, Lapid is edging toward the 61 Knesset seats required to form a government although at least one of Yamina’s seven lawmakers has opposed joining an anti-Netanyahu alliance.

The centrist may therefore have to rely on outside support from the Joint List and Ra’am, two parties that represent Palestinian and Arab communities in Israel.

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