Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel during the Session "A Conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel" at the Annual Meeting 2018 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 25, 2018. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Manuel Lopez

Israeli opposition parties unite in bid to unseat Netanyahu

TEL AVIV — The leaders of two of Israel’s main opposition parties said they would work together to form a coalition government on Sunday, in a move that could see Benjamin Netanyahu unseated as prime minister for the first time in 12 years.

Naftali Bennett, head of the small religious and nationalist Yamina party, and opposition leader Yair Lapid, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said they had joined forces.

“In the last two years, Israel has been in a circle of elections, internal fighting with no leadership,” Bennett said Sunday in a televised announcement. “This will not happen again. We can stop this and take control. There is no option for a right-wing government lead by Netanyahu — it’s either a change government or new elections.”

“No one believes Netanyahu anymore,” Bennett added. “In this critical moment, I’m saying I intend to form a national unity government with Lapid.”

Yesh Atid said Friday it had also reached agreements with Israel’s left-wing Meretz party; the New Hope party, a hard-line nationalist faction made up mostly of former Netanyahu allies; and the social-democratic Labour Party, which ruled the country for decades after the country’s founding in 1948.

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