Netanyahu gives up on Ra’am-backed government, says it’s not an option

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he sees no option of him forming a government backed by the Islamist Ra’am party, after Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas voted against him yesterday in a key Knesset vote.

Rather, Netanyahu says the only options are Gideon Sa’ar reneging on his central campaign promise not to join forces with Netanyahu, or holding special, one-off direct elections for prime minister, an idea floated — and criticized by many — in recent days.

“We don’t need Ra’am,” he says in a press conference. “We need direct elections so that we can form a government.”

He calls on Yamina chief Naftali Bennett to declare his support for the direct election initiative “today.”

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