Jerusalem – Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down “immediately”, without waiting until the end of the country’s war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
“Netanyahu should leave immediately We need change, Netanyahu cannot remain prime minister,” Lapid said on Wednesday in an interview with Israeli news channel N12.
“We cannot allow ourselves to carry out a long campaign under a prime minister who has lost the people’s trust,” he added.
⚡️Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid:
“It is time to form a new national government without Netanyahu and the extremists”
“Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens and the international community, and what is more dangerous is the trust of the security services” pic.twitter.com/RJ5QjqL0Gx
— Megatron (@Megatron_ron) November 16, 2023
Four days after Hamas’s surprise October 7 attack on Israel, Netanyahu and another opposition leader, Benny Gantz, announced an agreement to form an “emergency government” for the duration of the war.
Lapid said at the time he would not be joining, accusing Israeli leaders of an “unpardonable failure” for not preventing the attack.
Still, Lapid, who led Israel’s coalition government before Netanyahu was returned to power in elections last year, has not previously called for the prime minister to resign since the fighting broke out, according to Israeli media.
In his interview with N12, Lapid did not call for early elections, but rather a no-confidence vote in parliament that would allow for the formation of a new government led by another member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.
“This is not the time to hold elections,” he said. “We should opt for a national reconstruction with another prime minister from Likud.”
In a statement posted to Telegram, Likud immediately rebuffed the call, saying such a proposal in a “time of war” was “shameful”.
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