Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited the chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu Party, MK Avigdor Liberman, to immediately join the political-security cabinet as well as to add another minister from his party to the government.
The Likud announced on Saturday night that MK Liberman agreed to the invitation and will join the government, but Yisrael Beytenu later poured cold water on the announcement, stating that Liberman demands to be included in the newly created war cabinet, which is made up of Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz, whose National Unity Party officially joined the government last week.
"There is still no agreement on joining the government. We are not holding negotiations but demand to be part of the limited cabinet," an Yisrael Beytenu statement on Saturday night said.
"Liberman must be at the center of decision-making and part of the limited war cabinet in order to contribute with his experience. If not, we will support all security and military action to eliminate Hamas from outside the government," the party added.
This past Thursday, the new emergency government was approved in the Knesset by a majority of 66 to four opponents.
The new ministers in the emergency government were later sworn in in the Knesset plenum. The five ministers from the National Unity Party are Gantz, Gadi Eizenkot, Gideon Sa'ar, Hili Tropper and Yifat Shasha-Biton. In addition, Uriel Buso of Shas was sworn in as Minister of Health.
Liberman told Arutz Sheva-Israel National News that his party would support any move that will lead to the elimination of Hamas and its leaders and opined that the only way to accomplish this goal is through a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
"It is impossible to end this war without a ground maneuver and a ground entry. There is no escape from it. I remember 2005 very well. On September 23, 2005, we launched 'Operation First Rain', and until May 2023 we had to do 15 military operations. Now after 15 operations, we entered a war. This cannot continue," he said.