Middle East

Israel’s ex-PM Netanyahu calls to form new party, bring down Bennett government

Leader of the Israeli opposition and former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called Thursday on members of the right to form a new party and bring down the government of incumbent Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett.

Netanyahu’s call came in the wake of the resignation of Idit Silman; a coalition party’s chief whip, which led to throwing the coalition government off balance and raised the possibility of new parliamentary elections less than a year after the government took office.

Israel’s Channel 12 said Netanyahu met with MK, Amichai Chikli of the Yamina party, to which Silman belongs, and invited him to leave the Yamina party and form a new right-wing party that attracts other Knesset members from the Yamina party and the New Hope party.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Army Radio explained that Netanyahu has also met with other members of the Knesset from the far-right, with the aim of bringing down Bennett’s government and returning to the position of Prime Minister.

Observers said Silman’s resignation opens the possibility to several scenarios, including the collapse of the coalition government, stressing that Netanyahu is behind this resignation with the aim of removing Bennett and taking back office before the end of the year.

READ: Joint List MKs will not be a ‘lifeline’ for Israel’s Naftali Bennett

Netanyahu congratulated Silman on her resignation, saying: “I invite all those elected by the right-wing camp to join Idit and return home. You will be welcomed with full respect and with open arms.”

On Wednesday, Israeli Army Radio quoted Netanyahu as saying that Bennett’s government is weak and must leave, as it harms what he called “the Jewishness of the State”.

Netanyahu joined, on Wednesday, thousands of Israeli protesters who gathered in the occupied city of Jerusalem to demonstrate against Bennett and his current government.

Netanyahu slammed Bennett, claiming that the country is in a state of security deterioration and that the current Israeli Prime Minister has failed in the face of the recent wave of attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

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