Netanyahu starts negotiations to form a government and seeks to annex Gantz and Lapid

Today, Friday, Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu began negotiations with his allies to form a government that is likely to be the most right-wing in Israel’s history.

Israel’s most popular newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, posted photos of Netanyahu with Itamar Ben Gvir, a right-wing figure who appears to be a major player in the new government, and asked, “Where are they going?”

Netanyahu won the majority of seats in the Knesset and the results showed that the Likud party he led won 32 seats, while 18 seats went to the two religious parties “United Torah Judaism” and “Shas” and 14 seats to “Religious Zionism. “coalition.

Thus, the Netanyahu-led right-wing bloc won 64 seats, a stable majority in the 120-seat parliament, bringing the curtain down on an unprecedented era of political stalemate.

As for the outgoing prime minister, Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist party Yesh Atid, the results indicate that he has obtained 24 seats for his party and 51 for his block with his allies.

bags distribution

Netanyahu will begin distributing ministerial portfolios to his coalition partners, which means giving important portfolios to members of the “religious Zionist” bloc, which is considered a precedent.

Netanyahu has already instructed Yariv Levin, a Likud member and close ally, to initiate talks with “religious Zionism” on ministerial portfolios.

Right-wing leader Itamar Ben Gvir, who has long supported Israel’s annexation of the entire West Bank, has called for the public security portfolio, a position that would put him in charge of police.

For his part, Bezalel Smotrich of “Religious Zionism” has publicly declared his intention to become Minister of Defense.

As for the “Shas” party led by Aryeh Deri, which won 11 seats, it should play a fundamental role in the coalition negotiations. Deri’s eyes are on the Ministries of the Interior or Finance.

“international legitimacy”

Shlomo Fischer of the Institute for Jewish People Policy in Jerusalem told AFP that Netanyahu understands that pushing right-wing figures in key positions could “damage” his relations abroad.

He said: “Netanyahu does not want Ben Gvir and Deri to lead, he is very careful and does not want to lose his international legitimacy. I think he can try to expand his alliance to reduce their influence.”

In this context, Radio Israel in Arabic language said on Friday, according to his sources, that “Netanyahu does not want to risk granting sovereign portfolios to far-right representatives, such as Itamar Ben Gvir, and therefore seeks to persuade his opponents, Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz, to join a government led by him to avoid international isolation “.

According to the radio, “Netanyahu does not rule out the possibility of going to the head of the United Arab List, Mansour Abbas, to be an element of balance against right-wing extremists”.

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