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18 Feb, 2024 08:48

Netanyahu to be ousted – media

Israel’s Ynet media outlet quoted an unnamed senior member of the prime minister’s Likud party as making the assessment
Netanyahu to be ousted – media

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be able to retain power after the country’s military has concluded its operation against Hamas in Gaza, Ynet media outlet has claimed, citing anonymous sources within his Likud party. Amid mounting calls for early elections, the Israeli leader insisted on Saturday that now is “not the time for politics,” suggesting that the next vote will take place “in a few years.”

Multiple opinion polls have demonstrated that Netanyahu’s approval ratings and those of his Likud party have been on the decline since Hamas militants conducted their deadly surprise incursion into Israeli territory on October 7, 2023. Back in December, the Israel Democracy Institute, citing survey results, claimed that more than two-thirds of Israelis want general elections to be held as soon as hostilities in Gaza are over.

A survey conducted earlier this month showed that opposition parties would secure as many as 75 of the Israeli parliament’s 120 seats if elections were held now.

In its report on Saturday, Ynet quoted an unnamed senior member of Likud as predicting that “whoever was prime minister on October 7 will finish his post at the end of the war.”

Another staffer from Netanyahu’s party allegedly contended that no matter “how much Netanyahu postpones the end and how much he doesn’t want to, at the end of this war we will go to elections.” According to the media outlet, the anonymous Likud bigwig added that the prime minister would be forced to call a snap election either by members of his own political force or by other parties making up the ruling coalition, with everyone understanding that “this is what’s going to happen.”

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Netanyahu dismissed calls for a snap election, insisting that a vote for the Knesset should take place as scheduled, that is, in October 2026.

“I suggest we don’t concern ourselves with that during the war,” the prime minister said, arguing that the “last thing we need right now is elections.” Netanyahu warned that internal political division in Israel would play into the hands of Hamas.

The opposition Yesh Atid party released a statement describing the prime minister’s comments as “another performance by an unfit prime minister who, by all accounts, has long lost the public’s trust and continues to flee from the responsibility of the greatest failure to the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

“Israel needs change. Elections are the order of the day,” the party argued.

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