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Naftali Bennett joins coalition to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu

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Jerusalem, May 31: Israel Nationalist Hardliner Naftali Bennett took a major step toward ending the 12-year rule of Benjamin Netanyahu, announcing that he would try to form a unity government with his opponents.The leaders of a far-right and a centrist party confirmed on Sunday that they were seeking to form a governing coalition in Israel.

Naftali Bennett

If successful, their coalition would unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his center-right Likud party for the first time since 2009.The Yamina right-wing alliance leader Naftali Bennett said in a nationally televised news conference that he would form a unity government with opposition Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party.

"It's my intention to do my utmost in order to form a national unity government along with my friend Yair Lapid, so that, God willing, together we can save the country from a tailspin and return Israel to its course,'' Bennett said.

Bennett, a former Netanyahu aide turned rival, said he had made the decision to prevent Israel from sliding into a fifth consecutive election in just over two years.Although Bennet shares Netanyahu's nationalist ideology, he said there was no feasible way for the hard-line right-wing to form a governing majority in parliament.

What did Netanyahu say?Netanyahu accused Bennett of betraying the Israeli right-wing and perpetrating "the fraud of the century," citing past public promises Bennett made not to team up with Lapid.The Israeli leader urged nationalist politicians who have joined the coalition talks not to establish what he called a "leftist government."

"A government like this is a danger to the security of Israel, and is also a danger to the future of the state," he said. This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.

Source: DW

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