Israeli coalition says it has votes to unseat Netanyahu

A coalition of Israeli opposition parties announced on Sunday that it had enough votes to form a new government that would unseat current Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE.

Israeli media had previously reported that a deal had been made between opposition leader Yair Lapid and far-right Israeli politician Naftali Bennett.

The Washington Post reported that Lapid and Bennett confirmed on Sunday that they had agreed to a power-sharing agreement.


“We could go to fifth elections, sixth elections, until our home falls upon us, or we could stop the madness and take responsibility,” Bennett said in a televised statement, according to the Post. “Today, I would like to announce that I intend to join my friend Yair Lapid in forming a unity government.”

The announcement comes shortly after 11 days of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas. The Post noted that Israel's opposition has used Netanyahu's response to argue against his continued presence in power.

It pointed to Netanyahu’s failure to stop Hamas rockets from coming down on Israel as well as his failure to secure the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers as reasons his 12-year term in office should end.

The Post noted that Netanyahu had attempted to coerce Bennett into joining him to form a right-wing government as negotiations between the opposition parties were going on.

In the midst of the negotiations, Netanyahu angrily lashed out.

“What’s changed since [the conflict?] A few days have passed? Has something changed? Of course not,” the Israeli prime minister said in a video posted to Twitter. “We just got out of a war, from a military operation, and it was clear, amid the battle, that it’s not possible to fight with Hamas from a left-wing government.”

Netanyahu made a last-minute counteroffer on Sunday in an attempt to hold to power in which he would share the office with fellow right-wing politician Gideon Sa'ar. Under the proposed agreement, Sa'ar would hold power for about one year, then Netanyahu would reassume power for about two years after which Sa'ar would serve out the rest of the term.

Sa'ar rejected the offer on Twitter, writing, "Our position and commitment are unchanged - to end Netanyahu's rule."