Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to topple the new government, a day after the country’s longest-serving ex-leader was ousted by an eight-party diverse coalition government.
Netanyahu made the remark on Monday during a meeting of the opposition parties, which he convened for the first time as the new leader of the opposition.
The “deceit government will soon be toppled,” Netanyahu said, referring to a government by his opponents, nationalist Naftali Bennett and centrist Yair Lapid, which was sworn in on Sunday.
He urged lawmakers with his allied parties to show cohesion and “iron discipline” to paralyse the coalition in the parliament, saying ending the rule of the new government will “bring redemption to the people and the State of Israel.”
Lawmakers with the Likud, Netanyahu’s right-wing party, heckled Bennett when he addressed the parliament on Sunday to present his new government. They shouted insults and interrupted almost every sentence he said.
Bennett, leader of the pro-settler Yamina party and Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, and Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party and Netanyahu’s former finance minister, were sworn in after the parliament narrowly approved their new coalition government.
Under a coalition agreement, Bennett, 49, and Lapid, 57, will rotate as prime ministers, with Bennett going first. Bennett will serve as prime minister for a first term of two years while Lapid will serve as alternate prime minister and foreign minister. They will then rotate for the latter two-year term.
The establishment of the eight-party coalition government ended Netanyahu’s record 12-year-long rule.
The controversial leader is facing a criminal trial over corruption charges. It also ended a lingering political crisis that has seen four rounds of elections in two years.