PM, Bennett green light negotiations between Likud and Yamina

After meeting, Netanyahu and Bennett agree to have negotiating teams begin coalition talks.

Hezki Baruch ,

נפתלי בנט
נפתלי בנט
צילום: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yamina party chairman Naftali Bennett met Monday afternoon in Jerusalem, as efforts continue to build a governing coalition.

The two agreed to have their negotiating teams meet for the first round of coalition talks.

Yamina chief Naftali Bennett emphasized that his primary goal is to prevent a fifth round of elections.

“One week ago, the President asked [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu to form a government," Bennett said at a party meeting. "The Likud can count Yamina in when it comes to the formation of a right-wing government."

Speaking to the Israeli press, Bennett said: "At our meetings, I told Mr. Netanyahu, and I will tell you as well, that the Likud can count Yamina's MKs as part of a right-wing government."

He added: "We will do everything possible to prevent fifth elections, and there are a lot of creative ideas."

"I could have sat in the Prime Minister's seat, had I wanted to, but my goal is to prevent fifth elections," he emphasized. "The circus of fifth elections signals to our enemies that we are breaking apart."

"There are parties which have already hired advisers and are preparing for fifth elections. I ask all party heads to act responsibly. We will fight anyone who wants fifth elections."

Earlier on Monday, Bennett was accused of attempting to prevent the formation of a right-wing government.

"Not only is Bennett not helping to form a government, he is trying to prevent the formation of a right-wing government," sources on the Right told Israel Hayom, adding that were Bennett to proclaim that there will be fifth elections if a right-wing government is not formed, the pressure would move to other parties.