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Netanyahu faces ouster threat from right-wing hawks

Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett [HNM News/Facebook]
Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett, 27 September 2017 [HNM News/Facebook]

Israel’s right-wing Yamina Party led by Defence Minister Naftali Bennet has threatened to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as head of the coalition right-wing bloc, Israeli media reported on Monday.

“We have been part of the right-wing bloc for three difficult elections, and I would like to hope that Netanyahu will not break it up,” former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told Army Radio. “We need to see what government will be formed. Right now, according to reports it seems like everything that is important to the ideological right wing and to Yamina is being handed to the left wing.”

Shaked stressed that leaving everything to Netanyahu and his allies from the centre and centre-left and going to the opposition is an option for her party. Observers have pointed out that terms like “centre” and “centre-left”, and even “left wing” are very much relative in Israeli politics, there having been no effective truly left of centre political party for many years.

READ: Gantz concerned that Netanyahu won’t commit to ‘rotation deal’

Amidst continuous talks and discussions between Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the erstwhile head of the Blue and White party, reports suggest that Yamina’s portfolios are to be cut from three to one.

However, the Times of Israel said that Netanyahu spoke with his right-wing and religious allies on Sunday night to reassure them about the coalition talks. He described reports related to the distribution of cabinet portfolios as “total fake news”.

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