Netanyahu: 'I intend to form a strong, forceful government'

i24NEWS

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Opposition leader and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud party meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem on May 9, 2022.
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90Opposition leader and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud party meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem on May 9, 2022.

Opposition leader hails end of coalition, says open to alternative government but ready for new elections

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday night hailed the end of the coalition that over a year ago unseated him as Israel's longest-serving prime minister.

"It is the worst government in the history of Israel," Netanyahu said in remarks to the media at Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, the Knesset. 

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Hours earlier, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced in a statement that a vote would take place to dissolve the Knesset, which would trigger new elections this fall and place Lapid as temporary prime minister.

"We have the ability to govern," Netanyahu said. "I intend to form a strong, forceful government."

He said that he was open to forming an alternative government but indicated that he is "getting ready for elections."

Netanyahu also ruled out sitting in a government with Ra'am party head Mansour Abbas.

In a reference to the Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel and four Arab Muslim countries, which occurred under the Likud government, Netanyahu promised more peace deals if he is returned to power.

"We will do historic things. Peace deals. They felt our might. Our power. Peace is with the strong, not the weak."

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