Israel Coalition Talks: Lieberman Says Deal May Be Finalized as Early as Tuesday

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Yisrael Beiteinu's Avigdor Lieberman addressing his Knesset caucus, on Monday.
Yisrael Beiteinu's Avigdor Lieberman addressing his Knesset caucus, on Monday.Credit: Emil Salman

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday he expects a coalition deal that would see Benjamin Netanyahu replaced as prime minister can be announced as early as Tuesday evening.

While leaders of the anti-Netanyahu bloc and negotiation teams for the potential coalition parties met at Kfar Maccabiah in central Israel, Lieberman told the Bar Association conference in Eilat: "I believe that with a little goodwill we'll finish this business."

>> Follow the latest updates on Israel's coalition talks

Lieberman, who said his party was the first to reach an agreement with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, also warned against attempts by Netanyahu's Likud to disrupt the talks, as well as violence by supporters of Netanyahu.

Lapid has until Wednesday night to formally announce has succeeded in forming a government that would get a majority Knesset backing.

Apart from Yisrael Beiteinu, that future government would also include right-wing parties Yamina and New Hope, centrist Kahol Lavan, left-wing Labor and Meretz, and potentially Islamist party United Arab List.

Lieberman argued that Likud actions and security threats against members of the negotiation teams could spell a repeat of the violence in the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

"When I look at the legal attempt to torpedo the government, [Knesset Speaker] Yariv Levin's announcement that he won't convene the Knesset until he sees the coalition agreement, and the violent pressures that made the security agencies put two Knesset members from Yamina under level 5 protection, I see what happened on the Capitol Hill happening here. I hope it's just a nightmare scenario," Lieberman said.

The Yisrael Beiteinu leader also accused Netanyahu of creating a rift in Israeli society. "If Netanyahu stepped down, the Likud would have formed a government in no time," Lieberman said. "There's no reason not to form a right-wing government if Netanyahu gets out of the way."

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