MK Naftali Bennett
MK Naftali Bennett Uri Cohen

MK Naftali Bennett, the head of the right-wing Yamina party who recently announced his bid for the premiership, has attacked the unity government, headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, for the imposition of a third nationwide lockdown, which, he says, could have been avoided if the county had effective leadership.

“Things didn’t have to be this way,” Bennett said. “Millions of Israeli citizens are now going into a political lockdown, simply because the Netanyahu government placed political considerations above all else.

“We need change here,” he continued. “We need to set all our disputes aside and get a grip on this epidemic – we need to rehabilitate the economy – and we need to unite the country.”

Responding to an earlier call from leaders of the settlement enterprise to clearly state his position on the normalization of “young settlements,” many of which have been deprived of basic state-provided infrastructure for years, Bennett called on the Prime Minister to immediately grant the settlements official recognition.

“Netanyahu should stop making political deals with regard to the settlements in Judea and Samaria,” he said, referring to the news last week that the Likud leader had reached an agreement with Raam party head MK Mansour Abbas that three Bedouin towns in the Negev would have their status regularized, in return for three Jewish towns over the Green Line being accorded the same.

“Over 20,000 Israeli citizens need and deserve basic conditions for living a normal life,” he said. “This is a humanitarian and ethical decision – this is simply the right thing to do.”