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

Netanyahu Intensifies Pressure to Break New Israeli Coalition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to rally his right-wing base against a new ruling coalition that includes, for the first time in the country’s history, an independent Arab party that would have a role in shaping the policies of the predominantly Jewish state.

The new coalition of eight political parties agreed to a last-minute deal on Wednesday, but have yet to disclose the full terms of that agreement.

Until the government is sworn in, Mr. Netanyahu can still try to undo the coalition deal.

Mr. Netanyahu met Thursday with leaders of settlements in the West Bank along with heads of right-wing parties still aligned with him in an effort to expand the pressure campaign.

Chairman of the Kiryat Arba Local Council Eliyahu Libman, who participated in the meeting, said Mr. Netanayhu urged settler leaders to pressure Mr. Bennett and his party members because the settlers would suffer under the new government.

Mansour Abbas, leader of the Islamist Ra’am party, in an interview with Army Radio on Thursday, said the coalition was seeking to expand its support to make up for the potential loss of any right-wing lawmakers under pressure by Mr. Netanyahu.

Aside from their common goal to unseat Mr. Netanyahu, parties in the new coalition have ideologically little in common.

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