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World

Israel parliament poised to vote on anti-Netanyahu govt

  • But the ever-combative Netanyahu has tried to peel off defectors that would deprive the nascent coalition of its wafer thin legislative majority.
13 Jun 2021

JERUSALEM: Israeli lawmakers are to vote Sunday on a "change" coalition government of bitter ideological rivals united by their determination to banish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power.

The crunch Knesset vote will either terminate the hawkish premier's uninterrupted 12-year tenure or return Israel to a stalemate likely to trigger a fifth general election since 2019.

Netanyahu, who is battling a clutch of corruption charges in an ongoing trial he dismisses as a conspiracy, has pushed Israeli politics firmly to the right over the years.

On Saturday night, around 2,000 protesters rallied outside the 71-year-old's official residence to celebrate what they believe will be his departure from office.

"For us, this is a big night and tomorrow will be even a bigger day. I am almost crying. We fought peacefully for this (Netanyahu's departure) and the day has come," said protester Ofir Robinski.

A fragile eight-party alliance, ranging from the right-wing Jewish nationalist Yamina party to Arab lawmakers, was early this month cobbled together by centrist politician Yair Lapid.

On Friday, all coalition agreements had been signed and submitted to the Knesset secretariat, Yamina announced, a moment party leader Naftali Bennett said brought "to an end two and a half years of political crisis".

But the ever-combative Netanyahu has tried to peel off defectors that would deprive the nascent coalition of its wafer thin legislative majority.

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