Lapid expected to officially concede Thursday

Lapid told his cabinet ministers to prepare for a swift and orderly transfer of power, according to the report.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Current caretaker prime minister Yair Lapid is expected to concede in a phone call on Thursday afternoon to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after the latter scored a decisive election victory which put an end to nearly four years of political gridlock in Israel.

According to a report from Hebrew language news outlet Walla News, Lapid, who has not spoken publicly since the initial results of the election were revealed on Tuesday night, is gearing up to admit defeat.

With some 97 percent of votes counted as of Thursday morning, Lapid is reportedly waiting for the final results from Israel’s Central Elections Committee supervisory body, and will then phone his political rival.

Lapid told his cabinet ministers to prepare for a swift and orderly transfer of power, according to the report.

On Wednesday, Lapid canceled an appearance at the UN climate conference, with Israeli president Isaac Herzog set to replace him.

Political analysts said that Lapid’s decision to decline from leading an Israeli delegation at the event signaled a tacit acceptance of the election results.

The change bloc’s election defeat has sent its parties reeling, with some offering harsh criticism of Lapid for the loss.

“[Lapid] behaved like a cannibalistic pig who tried to eliminate [the other parties in his bloc] in order to be the biggest one, and this is the result,” said one of Lapid’s political allies, according to Channel 12 News.

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“Lapid acted recklessly, did not manage the bloc, did not take care of the Arabs and did not take care of the surplus [vote-sharing] agreements,” the politician added.

Although the post-election political wheeling-and-dealing process typically takes several weeks in Israel, as budgets, ministries, and other assets are divvied up among coalition parties, Hebrew language media reports have indicated that Netanyahu is planning to form a government as quickly as possible.

The Religious Zionism party, which emerged as the third-largest faction in the Knesset with 14 seats, is eyeing the positions of Finance Minister for party head Betzalel Smotrich and Interior Security Minister for MK Itamar Ben Gvir.