Sunday , June 4 2023

Uncertain future for Netanyahu as coalition deadline nears: Live

Centrist politician Yair Lapid is due to announce a new coalition that will end Netanyahu’s 12-year rule in Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents are finalising a coalition government to end his 12-year rule – the longest by any Israeli premier – before a Wednesday midnight (21:00 GMT) deadline.

The union came into being after far-right leader Naftali Bennett, a kingmaker whose Yamina party has six seats in parliament, joined hands with centrist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. With 17 seats, Yesh Atid is the second-largest party in the 120-member Knesset – the Israeli parliament.



United Arab List MK ‘not optimistic’ a deal will be reached

Mazen Ghanaim, United Arab List Member of Knesset (MK) has told Kan public broadcaster that he’s “not optimistic” that a deal will be reached to form a government, despite reports of progress, The Times of Israel reported.

“We had the courage to say that we want to be a legitimate player in Israeli politics, but apparently our declarations won’t bear fruit in the end,” Ghanaim told Kan.

“Mansour Abbas (head of the United Arab List) is attacked from all sides – from within the Arab community, also from the Israeli right. Despite this, he is sitting at Kfar Maccabiah for two days already to bring an achievement for the Arab community. From what is happening in the negotiations behind closed doors, I’m not optimistic,” Ghanaim said.


Less than five hours left to form government

Negotiations are still underway to form a new coalition government to replace Netanyahu.

Lapid has until Wednesday evening at 11:59pm (20:59 GMT) to inform President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin that he can form a new government.


Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, parliament members from Yamina party, chat at the plenum in the Knesset in Jerusalem [Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS]

If he cannot do so, any MK could then try to build a coalition with the support of a majority of 61 MKs.


If lawmakers cannot agree on another candidate for prime minister, Israelis could return, yet again, to the polls.

Defence Minister and leader of Blue and White party Benny Gantz (left) speaks to Yamina leader Naftali Bennett (centre) during a special session of the Knesset at the plenum in Jerusalem [Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS]


Government hinges on ruling of Shura Council

With less than six hours left until the deadline to form a new government, the “main thing holding things up is the disagreement between [United Arab List also known as Ra’am] and the right-wing parties on the extent of retroactive permits for illegal buildings in the Arab sector,” Haaretz writer Anshel Pfeffer wrote on Twitter.

“Ra’am’s Shura council currently convened to decide whether to go ahead.

“This is the first time that the formation of a new Israeli government has hinged on the ruling of a Shura Council, so that’s something at least, whatever the outcome,” Pfeffer wrote.



Likud calls on protests

Likud has called on its ministers and Knesset members to gather outside the convention hall in Ramat Gan where the coalition-building talks are taking place to protest against the formation of a new government, Israeli media has reported.



Three signatures missing to form new government

Israel’s new government coalition agreement is waiting for signatures from Bennett, Gideon Saar of the New Hope party and Mansour Abbas of the United Arab List, journalist Noga Tarnopolsky posted on Twitter.


‘Our demands are clearly known’: Abbas

Mansour Abbas, leader of the United Arab List has played down allegations that he changed his demands in negotiations with Lapid, Haaretz has reported.

In an interview with Channel 12, Abbas said that his party “wants to achieve things for the benefit of Arab society. We have no disputes about roles and authority,” Haaretz reported.

Abbas said that in negotiations with Lapid he has “put forward demands regarding the Arab citizens of the country who want a solution to the housing crisis and the municipal status of unrecognised localities in the Negev.”

“We stick to this principle and our demands are clearly known. They are not difficult,” he said.

Mansour Abbas, leader of the United Arab List has aimed to revoke a law that has hardened penalties for illegal construction, which is seen to affect Palestinian communities disproportionately [File: Abir Sultan/AFP]

Demands of United Arab List ‘are impossible’: Negotiator

According to Kan news reports, Ze’ev Elkin of the New Hope party has told Likud MKs that demands of the United Arab List on construction for Palestinian communities “are impossible for me and for [Ayelet] Shaked. We will not agree to them under any circumstances,” The Times of Israel reported.

Elkin is one of the leading negotiators in forming a so-called change government, The Times of Israel said.

Mansour Abbas, leader of the United Arab List, also known as Ra’am, has aimed to revoke a law that has hardened penalties for illegal construction, which is seen to affect Palestinian communities disproportionately.


Labour veteran Herzog elected Israel’s 11th president

Israel’s parliament elected the even-keeled Labour veteran Isaac Herzog as its 11th president.

Herzog, 60, beat former headmistress Miriam Peretz to replace President Reuven Rivlin, who was elected in 2014 to the largely ceremonial position decided by the parliament, or Knesset.

Herzog, who will assume his position on July 9, succeeded over Peretz, 67, a former headmistress who lost two children in Israel’s wars and is known as “the mother of sons”.


Who is Yair Lapid?

A centrist opposition leader, Yair Lapid was once known largely for his successful career as a journalist and popular television host.

He is the Tel Aviv-born son of the fiercely secular former justice minister Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, who also left journalism to enter politics.

Read more here.


Lapid’s coalition talks stall: local media

Yair Lapid’s negotiations to establish the so-called “coalition for change” appeared to have stalled, according to Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot.

Its report cited sources familiar with the details of the talks saying that many outstanding issues have already been resolved, including ministerial appointments.

However, there is still disagreement over a seat on the committee for judicial appointments, a position already promised to Labour leader Merav Michaeli.

Another obstacle appears to be the demand of Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas to reverse, or at least temporarily suspend, a law that facilitates the demolition of homes build in violation of code, most prevalent in Arab communities.


Who is Naftali Bennett, Israel’s potential prime minister?

Naftali Bennett is close to replacing Israel’s veteran prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Bennett is a multimillionaire former tech entrepreneur who made a name in politics with right-wing, religious-nationalist rhetoric.

Read more here.


Lapid enlists Defence Minister Gantz

Israel’s opposition leader moved closer to unseating Netanyahu after agreeing terms with several parties, including one led by Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White said in a joint statement they had “agreed on the outlines of the government and core issues relating to the strengthening of democracy and Israeli society”.


Israeli parties in race to build anti-Netanyahu coalition

Israeli politicians battling to unseat Netanyahu are racing against the clock on the final day of talks to build a governing coalition comprised of bitter ideological rivals.

They have until a minute before midnight (20:59 GMT) on Wednesday to cobble together an administration that would end 12 years of rule by Israel’s longest-serving prime minister





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