A former ally of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced plans to join a possible coalition government that could end the premier’s 12-year tenure, the AP reported.
Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing Yamina party, said he intended to form a national unity government with Yair Lapid, the leader of centrist party Yesh Atid.
“God willing, together we can save the country from a tailspin and return Israel to its course,” Bennett added.
Bennett and Lapid have time until Wednesday to reach a rotational deal, under which each of them will likely serve as the prime minister for two years. Their negotiating teams were scheduled to meet later on Sunday.
Bennet’s party has six seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, which is likely to give a clear majority to the proposed coalition government, the BBC reported.
Netanyahu had failed to secure a decisive majority in the general elections held in March – which was Israel’s fourth indecisive vote in two years.
On Sunday, the Israeli prime minister slammed the proposed coalition to oust him. “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, according to the AP.
Netanyahu urged politicians not to join the “leftist government”, accusing Bennett of betraying the right-wing in Israel.
The Israeli premier had in 2019 been formally charged with with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in separate cases. He was accused of dispensing favours and accepting gifts from wealthy business people and attempting to get more positive media coverage. Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected the accusations and called it part of a witch-hunt against him.