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Smotrich pans Bennett: ‘A government with Abbas is like a government with Hamas’

Naftali Bennett (R) and Bezalel Smotrich of the right-wing Yamina party hold a press conference in Jerusalem on May 14, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Naftali Bennett (R) and Bezalel Smotrich of the right-wing Yamina party hold a press conference in Jerusalem on May 14, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Religious Zionism party head Bezalel Smotrich assails Yamina leader Naftali Bennett after the latter met the leader of the Islamist Ra’am party, Mansour Abbas, for coalition talks aimed at forming a government without Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud.

“A government with Abbas is like a government with Hamas,” says Smotrich of Abbas, whose party is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and rejects Zionism.

Smotrich says Bennett will become an outcast on the right if he forms a government with Ra’am, the same way former premier Ariel Sharon was when he decided to evacuate Israel’s settlements from Gaza in 2005.

Smotrich has thwarted the option of Netanyahu himself relying on Ra’am to form a government, but the premier’s efforts have led to his rivals having more legitimacy to work with it.

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