Addis Ababa, May 31, 2021 (Walta) – Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that a proposed unity government aimed at replacing him would be a danger to the country’s security.
He urged fellow right-wingers not to back a deal after ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett said he would form a coalition with a centrist party.
Netanyahu’s opponents have until Wednesday to form a government.
If they are successful, it would bring to an end the rule of the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
Netanyahu, who faces serious corruption charges and could go to jail, fell short of a decisive majority at a general election in March. It was the country’s fourth inconclusive vote in two years – and again he failed to secure coalition allies.
But his opponents may only be able to form a minority government, propped up by Arab members of parliament.
On Monday, the centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid warned that “many obstacles” remained before a unity government could be formed.
“We’ll have to overcome them together,” he told journalists. “That’s our first test – to see if we can find smart compromises in the coming days to achieve the greater goal.”
Tensions remain following the recent Gaza conflict, which also triggered inter-communal clashes in Israeli cities between Jews and Arabs.
Some Arab politicians could be reluctant to back a government led by Bennett, who is a staunch supporter of Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank – land Palestinians want for a future state, according to BBC.