Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett has taken “off the table” the option of forming a government without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, due to the ongoing military conflict with Gaza terrorists, a political source says.
Bennett has renewed his negotiations with Likud due to the emergency situation, and teams from both parties met today, the source says on condition of anonymity.
That is a major U-turn for Bennett, who was reportedly already set to announce the formation of a so-called “change government” headed by himself and Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid, when the round of conflict began.
The potential government that had been negotiated included the Islamist Ra’am party, a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is affiliated with the Hamas terror group against which Israel is currently fighting. Ra’am has suspended coalition talks until the hostilities end.
Bennett explains in closed conversations that a government with Ra’am would not be able to deal with the current situation. He says the security situation is the top priority and that he is working to form a “broad national unity government.”
He is thus canceling all the agreements with Lapid and saying that “when there is a wave of pogroms by Arabs across the country, and when IDF forces must be involved, this is a reality-changing event.
“The change government being formed won’t be able to deal with it,” he says, according to the source.