Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Netanyahu Demands Concessions from Allies to Form New Govt.

Netanyahu Demands Concessions from Allies to Form New Govt.

Monday, 20 May, 2019 - 07:30
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Reuters)
Tel Aviv - Nazir Magally

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Sunday his allies from the right-wing parties, demanding them to “come down to the ground” to facilitate efforts to form a government.

His comments were made during a cabinet session and in response to political and materialistic conditions imposed on him.

He said that he still has not agreed with any party to form his new government.

“I hope that the way will soon be found to bring them down to the ground, so that together we can establish a strong and stable government for Israel, which will continue to lead the country to new heights,” he said.

During a meeting with close associates, Netanyahu said that head of the Russian Jewish party, Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, who has been demanding to again hold the security portfolio in the next government, is the main obstacle to forming the government.

Lieberman has put difficult conditions and declared he is not willing to give them up, Netanyahu stressed.

Among them is a demand to have absolute privileges in dealing with Hamas, including the right to order the military to assassinate rulers of the movement in Gaza.

According to sources close to Netanyahu, Lieberman’s terms come in retaliation against the premier for how he treated him when he served as minister of defense in the outgoing government.

Lieberman had expressed his frustration from restrictions imposed by Netanyahu, sources said, in reference to the PM’s rejection, along with the majority of MPs, for his calls to launch heavy strikes against Hamas last year.

“I am not willing to enter the ministry of defense again without receiving a clear pledge from Netyanyahu not to interfere in my decisions,” Lieberman was quoted as saying.

“Netanyahu is committing a grave mistake when he says that Israel benefits from maintaining the Hamas regime in Gaza, which creates isolation between Gaza and the West Bank, weakening the Palestinian Authority and preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state,” said CEO of the World Yisrael Beiteinu Alex Selsky

He explained that Netanyahu’s strategy relies on assuming that overthrowing Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s return to Gaza will necessarily force Israel into a political process towards forming a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, adding that he sees this assumption as no longer valid.

“Israel and its premier receive exceptional support from the White House. International institutions traditionally hostile to Israel, such as the European Union and the United Nations, are weakening while Israel is growing geo-politically, economically and technologically,” he noted.

Editor Picks