Netanyahu’s government may be near collapse, report says

(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government may be on the verge of collapse according to Israel’s Channel 10.

In a report Friday night, the TV station quoted unnamed “party leaders” saying that Netanyahu’s surprise move to bring the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party into the coalition may be backfiring on him.

In the past eight days, two ministers have resigned: Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, of Likud, following reports that he would be replaced with the hawkish Avigdor Liberman, and Environmental Minister Avi Gabai of Kulanu. Both harshly criticized Netanyahu in their resignation announcements.

Gabai, who resigned Friday, said Israel’s increasingly “extremist” government was leading Israel on a path to destruction and that he “found it difficult” to be part of Netanyahu’s government for several reasons, including how it “totally upset the relationship with the world’s most important power – the one safeguarding our security interests,” referring to the United States.”

According to the Times of Israel, the pro-settler Jewish Home party is vowing not to approve Liberman and his party’s inclusion into the coalition when it is voted for on the Knesset. The Channel 10 report said relations between Likud and Jewish Home are “in real crisis.”

The report also said Finance Minister and Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon is working to persuade the centre-left Zionist Union to renew talks with Netanyahu about joining the coalition, while Ya’alon “has already begun preparing the organizational infrastructure” for a potential return to politics.

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