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Likud to Bennett: Resign or Set Date for New Israeli Elections

Likud MK Israel Katz: “Naftali Bennett has lost not only his majority but also the moral right to remain in power.”
A voting box in the last Israeli election in 2015 (photo credit: REUTERS)
A voting box in the last Israeli election in 2015 (photo credit: REUTERS)

Likud MKs demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a special Knesset session called on Monday during the parliament’s spring recess. It was a preview of what are set to be stormy months in the legislature.

The Knesset will return from its extended break next Monday and Bennett’s government will immediately face its first no-confidence vote since coalition chairwoman Idit Silman defected to the opposition and the coalition lost its majority.

All eyes will be on the vote of Silman, who could be declared a defector and thereby be prevented from running with Likud in the next election if she votes no-confidence in Bennett.

“I call on Naftali Bennett to resign and allow Benjamin Netanyahu to return and form a government,” Likud MK Israel Katz told the plenum. “If that does not happen, I call on the Knesset to set an agreed-upon date for elections. Bennett has lost not only his majority but also the moral right to remain in power.”

Katz cited the decision to restrict the authority of police on the Temple Mount and the power of Ra’am (United Arab List) to dictate security policy there.

Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana responded that Bennett and the government were not going anywhere, despite Silman’s departure.

“The government will continue to pass important bills, and the opposition will continue to do nothing but shout,” said Kahana, a close ally of Bennett.

But in a rare show of cooperation between the coalition and opposition, they will jointly pass a bill next Monday that would help businesses harmed by COVID-19.

The meeting ended with a eulogy by Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy for former Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, who died on Sunday. Levy said Gilon earned the respect and admiration of lawmakers across the political spectrum.

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