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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Challenge to Legality of Rival’s PM Bid Is Rebuffed


Benjamin Netanyahu - FACEBOOK


A final legal request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to thwart a competitor's bid to form a new government was rejected on Tuesday when his opponents reached an agreement to dismiss him.


Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu's former defense minister, announced on Sunday that he would join a proposed alliance with opposition leader Yair Lapid, who would be the first prime minister under the rotation agreement.


You have until midnight Wednesday local time to present a final agreement to President Reuven Rivlin assigning Lapid the task of forming a new government after Netanyahu failed to do so after a narrow election on March 23.


Hoping to miss the deadline, Lapid, Bennett and other party leaders met to form coalition agreements.


In a letter to the presidency and parliament's legal advisers, Netanyahu's conservative Likud party said that Lapid is not authorized to cede the premiership to Bennett.


Rivlin's office responded, however, that the Likud claim had no legal value because Lapid would be sworn in as "Deputy Prime Minister" who would be the second rotating prime minister.


The power-sharing Lapid-Bennett may include other politicians from other parties. Israeli media have speculated that it could also win parliamentary support from a party that attracts the votes of the Arab minority in Israel.


That prompted Netanyahu to accuse Bennett of endangering Israel as it grapples with internal conflict over the Gaza conflict last month and the peace process with the Palestinians and Iran.


Mary Gill

1 June 2021

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