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Netanyahu: Government with Ra’am in wouldn’t have been able to conduct Gaza strikes

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media at the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, on July 26, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media at the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, on July 26, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Transitioning back into campaign mode, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu says that, had the coalition that includes the Islamist party Ra’am not fallen, Israel would not have been able to “fight terror” in the Gaza Strip.

“Only after this government with Ra’am fell, and only after Knesset dispersed, was it possible to go out to this operation,” says Netanyahu in a video message minutes after a joint statement by Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

“Only a stable government that’s not reliant upon Ra’am and the [majority Arab] Joint List can fight terror,” he continues.

Netanyahu is campaigning against  Lapid and Gantz in the upcoming November elections. Much of his Likud party’s messaging says that neither of them will be able to assemble the necessary 61 minimum of the Knesset’s 120 seats to form a coalition without including an Arab party.

In a last whiff of unity, Netanyahu includes a rare congratulations to a government he lambasted for being weak against terror, saying that “we are all united” when fighting terrorism.

“I congratulate the government, the Shin Bet, and our beloved IDF soldiers on another successful operation against terror in Gaza. In the fight against terror, we are all united. There’s no opposition, there’s no coalition,” the opposition leader says.

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