Likud officials: Bennett is going to back Lapid

Prime Minister Netanyahu set to meet with right-wing bloc leaders today and Naftali Bennett on Thursday in bid to form government.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bennett and Netanyahu
Bennett and Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin his efforts to cobble together a governing coalition Wednesday, after receiving President Reuven Rivlin’s mandate to try to form a government Tuesday afternoon.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with the leaders of right-wing bloc factions Wednesday to discuss terms for their inclusion in a new government. On Thursday, Netanyahu is expected to meet with Yamina chief Naftali Bennett, in a bid to win over Yamina’s support for a new Netanyahu-led government.

Likud officials hinted that Bennett has already written off the possibility of joining a Likud-led government, Ma’ariv reported, and that the Yamina chief instead hopes to reach an understanding with Yesh Atid chief and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid for the formation of an alternative government.

“Apparently the price [Bennett] is demanding in exchange for joining a Netanyahu-led government will be too high, there won’t be any progress until the Yamina chairman exhausts efforts to reach an understanding with Lapid,” one Likud official said. “Thus far, our contacts with people in Yamina haven’t made any progress whatsoever.”

“Bennett is leaning towards making a deal with Lapid, and all of his nice talk about preferring a right-wing [government] and about values are all just for show, to lay the groundwork for his supporters.”

The Likud, the officials continued, is preparing to apply heavy pressure on Bennett to join a Netanyahu-led government.