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UTJ lawmaker says Netanyahu plea deal would cause government collapse by spring

UTJ MK Moshe Gafni reacts during a session in the plenum hall of the Knesset, on July 26, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
UTJ MK Moshe Gafni reacts during a session in the plenum hall of the Knesset, on July 26, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

United Torah Judaism leader MK Moshe Gafni says that if former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signs a plea deal, the current government will fall by springtime.

Reports have been swirling over the past week that Netanyahu is close to signing a plea deal in his ongoing corruption trial, which is likely to include a clause barring him from politics for at least several years, or up to seven years.

Gafni tells Army Radio that if Netanyahu no longer heads Likud, the current governing coalition will fall apart.

“If Netanyahu signs a plea deal, there won’t be any glue holding the coalition together,” Gafni says, “and we’ll arrive at Passover with a new government.”

Passover this year falls in mid-April; the shortest election period possible is 90 days.

Gafni says his ultra-Orthodox party “will continue to stick with the right-wing bloc and the religious and traditional parties,” and will wait to see who may lead Likud in the future before making any decisions.

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