Israel coalition likely to fall as MKs veto Bennett appointment

Lester Mason
November 18, 2018

A senior Jewish Home official said it became clear after the Bennett-Netanyahu meeting that there "is a need to go to elections as soon as possible".

Bennett challenged Netanyahu's leadership and urged the prime minister to appoint him as defense minister.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri also called for early elections.

Israel will pick a date to hold early elections on Sunday following a tumultuous week for the nation.

Demonstrators have been attending mass protests in Gaza since 30 March to demand the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees whose families were displaced during the establishment of the state of Israel.

Liberman's decision to pull his Yisrael Beitenu party out of the coalition almost toppled the Netanyahu coalition, and may yet do so; Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett has long coveted the defense portfolio but few if any of the other coalition partners are willing to allow him to serve in the position, due to his uncompromising - some call them "extremist" - positions on security.

The fisherman's killing calls into question the fragile ceasefire that began in Gaza overnight. Gaza's Hamas rulers fired hundreds of rockets at southern Israel, while Israeli warplanes targeted scores of targets in Gaza.

After two days of harsh fighting this week, a ceasefire was agreed upon between Hamas and the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a statement released after the meeting, Kahlon said, "The stability required at this time is not achievable in the present situation, and therefore the responsible act is the establishment of a new, strong and stable government".

Government figures would agree on a date on Sunday, the source added.

Opinion polls show that Netanyahu's Likud would be likely to remain the dominant party after a parliamentary election.

But Yisrael Hayom said Bennett was key to efforts to avoid an early election and could yet prove Netanyahu's political salvation. April is unlikely because of Jewish holidays during the month.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article