Lapid says he won’t sit with Netanyahu unless he’s acquitted, refuses to say if he’ll rely on Hadash-Ta’al

Prime Minister Yair Lapid reiterates that he will never sit in the same government as former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, unless the latter is acquitted in his ongoing corruption trial, but that he has “no problem” with Netanyahu’s Likud party under a different leader.

Speaking at a conference organized by Channel 12, Lapid says he would “gladly” take part in a televised pre-election debate with Netanyahu, but adds that the latter has been refusing to participate in such debates for 15 years.

Lapid dodges questions about who he aims to include in the next government — specifically whether he will rely on the support of the predominantly Arab Hadash-Ta’al party — and acknowledges it will be “very hard” to form a coalition. “But look who was the last one to form a government in tough circumstances,” he adds.

In response to criticism by smaller left-wing parties that Lapid is campaigning at their expense and potentially causing them to fall below the electoral threshold, Lapid says that “both Labor and Meretz are far from the threshold. I’m not worried. Had I been worried — I would be careful.”

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