Two Days Before Deadline: Bennett meets secretly with Netanyahu

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Naftali Bennett and PM Netanyahu (File).

Prime Minister held secret meeting with Yamina chief, with negotiating teams from both parties also meeting in secret.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yamina party chief Naftali Bennett met in secret last week, according to a report released by Kan Sunday evening.

Negotiating teams from the Likud and Yamina parties also met secretly last week, the report said.

According to the report, after the meetings the clandestine talks between the two sides continued via telephone over the weekend, with the goal of preventing Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid from receiving a mandate to form a coalition government should Netanyahu fail to build a coalition by the deadline.

Netanyahu has until Tuesday night to present a new government or lose the President’s mandate, which will then go either to the Knesset or to a rival candidate for the premiership.

However, if Netanyahu makes progress towards forming a new government, he could request an extension from President Reuven Rivlin.

The Kan report also claimed that members of the anti-Netanyahu bloc are outraged at Bennett over his talks with Netanyahu, saying: “He is about to be tricked by Netanyahu.”

Talks among opposition parties aimed at forming an alternative government have made no progress in the past few days.

A senior Likud official told Kan that the party is debating whether to request an extension of the deadline for forming a government, citing the catastrophe in Meron last week which claimed the lives of 45 people during the Lag Ba’Omer festival.

(Arutz 7).

 

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