Opponents Agree To Oust Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu


By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

(Worthy News) – ’s main opposition leader says he has reached a deal to oust long-time Prime Minister , who claimed victory in recent clashes with Palestinian militants.

About 35 minutes before a Wednesday midnight deadline, the centrist Yair Lapid told President Reuven Rivlin in an email: “I am honored to inform you that I have succeeded in forming a government.”

The announcement by Lapid and leading coalition partner, Naftali Bennett, prevented what could have been Israel’s fifth consecutive election in just over two years.

The agreement backed by Lapid and a broad spectrum of political parties was to end ’s record-setting but divisive 12-year rule over the Jewish state.

“This government will work for all the citizens of Israel, those that voted for it and those that didn’t. It will do everything to unite Israeli society,” Lapid said.

The agreement still needs to be approved by the Knesset, or parliament, in a vote expected early next week.

However, the announcement came as a political setback for Netanyahu, who hoped to receive political credit for handling recent clashes with .

Last month Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Palestinian armed groups in Gaza as an “exceptional success.” He spoke after a to end the deadly conflict took effect.

However, Netanyahu had come under pressure in recent years over his perceived divisive style and corruption allegations, charges he denies. In April a long-awaited court corruption trial began over charges that he granted illegal favors to powerful businessmen in return for positive coverage.

Netanyahu, 71, will likely be forced to hand over his post to former defense minister Naftali Bennett who would replace Netanyahu, his former mentor, as prime minister for a term of two years. After that, centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid would take the top spot, according to the official

notification.

The two-party leaders had been near securing a majority coalition to unseat Netanyahu when hostilities erupted last month between Israel and the Palestinian militant group .

While political observers initially said the controversial prime minister would benefit politically from the fighting, talks between Lapid and Bennett accelerated after the cease-fire.

Bennett already said Sunday he was ready to join the anti-Netanyahu coalition.

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