Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hits back at coalition efforts to oust him: ‘The fraud of the century’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in hot water after small party leader Yamina said he would join opponents of Netanyahu in toppling the country’s longtime leader – but Netanyahu is already fighting back against what he called the “fraud of the country”. century ”.

Netanyahu accused party leader Yamina Naftali Bennett of “fraud of the century” and said Bennett “only cares about himself” and could hand power to a “dangerous left government,” Haaretz reported. Netanyahu said he made “incredible” offers to Bennett to keep him by his side, according to Haaretz.

Sunday’s announcement by Bennett is a key step towards the end of Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.

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At a nationally televised press conference, Bennett said he would work to form a unity government with opposition Yair Lapid.

“I intend to do everything possible to form a government of national unity with my friend Yair Lapid, so that God willing we can together save the country from a free fall and bring Israel back to its place. way, ”Bennett said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, speaks as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens during a joint statement after a meeting at the Prime Minister's office on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Jerusalem, Israel.  (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, Pool)
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, speaks as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens during a joint statement after a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Jerusalem, Israel. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, Pool)

He said he made the decision to prevent the country from sliding into a fifth consecutive election in just over two years.

They have until Wednesday to finalize a deal.

In a statement on Sunday, Netanyahu made a desperate appeal to Bennett to avoid the temptation to join his opponents.

He accused Bennett of deceiving his constituents and abandoning his nationalist principles “all to be prime minister at all costs”.

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To form a government, a party leader must gain the support of a majority of 61 seats in parliament. Since no single party controls the majority on its own, coalitions tend to be made up of smaller partners.

As leader of the largest party, Netanyahu was offered the country’s president the first opportunity to form a coalition. But he failed to secure a majority with his traditional religious and nationalist allies.

Netanyahu pleaded not guilty to the corruption charges in February.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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