Decision made: Bennett joins Lapid’s ‘change’ coalition, likely to become next prime minister

“Netanyahu does not have a government – that is a fact,” Bennett said, winning approval from his Yemina faction to join Lapid’s coalition. 

By World Israel News Staff

Late Sunday afternoon, Yemina leader Naftali Bennett announced his decision to join the center-left coalition led by Opposition leader Yair Lapid aimed at ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year premiership.

In a meeting ahead of the announcement, the party voted unanimously to join the anti-Netanyahu coalition after New Hope’s Gideon Sa’ar rejected Likud’s 11th-hour offer to let him serve as prime minister in a three-man rotation.

Likud made the offer to Sa’ar on Saturday evening, stating that Sa’ar could serve as prime minister for 15 months, followed by Netanyahu for two years. Bennett would finish out the remainder of the term. Also included in the offer was a promise that this would be Netanyahu’s last term in office.

At the Yemina meeting, Bennett said it was more convenient for him to stay “in the familiar and well-known area” of the Right but that this would lead to fifth and sixth elections, Israel’s Hebrew-language media reported.

Lapid has until June 2 to build a 61-seat Knesset majority. According to his agreement with Bennett, the Yemina leader, who has a mere seven seats, would serve first as prime minister in a rotation with the Lapid, who has 17. Netanyahu has the most, with 31.

“Netanyahu does not have a government – that is a fact,” Bennett told his faction, Channel 13 reported.

Bennett will make a statement to the media Sunday evening at 8 p.m.