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Israeli political crisis simmers for now

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/19/18, 10:41 am

Israel’s ruling coalition on Monday avoided an early election after one of its parties withdrew a threat to pull out of the government. Education Minister Naftali Bennett said his Jewish Home party will remain in the coalition and give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a second chance to tackle the country’s security issues. “If the government would really start leading toward the right path, acting like a real right-wing government, it’s worth trying,” Bennett said. “The ball is in the prime minister’s court.”

The uncertainty began last week when Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned over Israel’s latest cease-fire with the Hamas militant group. Lieberman’s departure still left the coalition with a one-seat majority in the 120-member Israeli Parliament, but Bennett threatened to pull out of the ruling majority if he did not receive the defense minister post.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Sunday televised broadcast announced he would assume the defense minister responsibilities. “We are in one of the most complex security situations and during a period like this, you don’t topple a government,” he said. “During a period like this, you don’t go to elections.”

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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