Prime Minister Netanyahu insists he’s not going anywhere after again failing to form a narrow right-wing coalition, as his rivals hold talks on potentially putting together a unity government that could send Israel’s longest-serving premier packing.
“I want to reassure you, I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here, fighting together with you until we win,” Netanyahu tells Likud lawmakers during a faction meeting, according to a party statement.
He adds: “I tell you this, we won’t descend into elections because no one wants to elections. Bennett prevented the formation of a right-wing government. We wanted one thing from him — to join a bloc of 59. The 59 would bring 61.”
Netanyahu doesn’t explain, however, how he would procure the two more seats needed for a majority if Yamina were to rejoin his right-wing religious bloc. While Yamina said it would join a right-wing government if Netanyahu could form one, the premier’s allies in the far-right Religious Zionism party ruled out joining a coalition backed by the Islamist Ra’am, blocking the Likud chief’s path to a ruling majority.