Israel parliament sets date for new government vote | News | DW | 08.06.2021

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Israel parliament sets date for new government vote

If approved, the new coalition would unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 consecutive years in power.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu could be unseated after 12 years as Israeli PM

Israel's parliament will vote on Sunday on approving a new government, Israel's Army Radio said on Tuesday, quoting parliamentary speaker Yariv Levin.

If it wins the vote, the coalition government will be sworn in on the same day, spelling the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 12 consecutive years in power.

What is the coalition against Netanyahu?

A total of eight parties have struck a deal to displace the longtime leader. 

The unlikely coalition is made up of three right-wing, two centrist and two left-wing parties, along with the Arab Islamic conservative party, United Arab List (UAL). If voted through, this will be the first time in Israel's history that an Arab party will be included in the government.

Watch video 02:18

Israel: Opposition strikes deal to form unity government

Under the deal, Netanyahu would be replaced by nationalist leader Naftali Bennett, who would then be expected to serve for two years before handing the post over to centrist politician Yair Lapid.

The fragile anti-Netanyahu alliance can only muster 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel's Parliament. But, despite their differences, the parties are united in their hope of removing Netanyahu from the top post.

How has Netanyahu reacted?

The veteran incumbent has slammed the alliance as a "dangerous left-wing government" and the "fraud of the century."

Netanyahu also shared an old video on Twitter of Bennett criticizing UAL leader Mansour Abbas.

In the clip, Bennett is shown saying that Abbas "visited terrorist murders in jail" following a 1992 attack on Israeli soldiers.

Netanyahu has also accused Bennett of the "betrayal of the century" for taking part in the opposition pact.

Watch video 03:52

Next step for Israel's new coalition to oust PM Netanyahu – DW's Tania Krämer reports

Analysts believe that Netanyahu is trying to get some lawmakers from Bennett's Yamina party to defect and potentially upset the coalition. So far, the attempts have been unsuccessful. 

Warnings of violence

Demonstrators supporting Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party have lashed out at Bennett, who has served in former Netanyahu cabinets.

They have protested outside the homes of right-wing lawmakers accused of "betrayal" for joining the coalition. Security has been stepped up for some of the lawmakers in the coalition.

There have been warnings that the protests could turn violent in the coming days.

kmm/wmr (Reuters, AFP, dpa)