Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on Yamina party chairman Naftali Bennett to join the next government, Coalition Whip MK Miki Zohar (Likud) said Wednesday morning.
Netanyahu called Bennett Tuesday night, after exit polls projected the right-wing – religious bloc receiving a majority in the Knesset - with Yamina.
During the call, Zohar said, Netanyahu invited Yamina to join the next government. Zohar went on to predict that Yamina would heed the call and join the coalition.
“I wasn’t on the call, but I know that Netanyahu called on Bennett to join the government. I think that he will do so if we have 61 seats combined.”
“Based on the actual results we have thus far, we’re close to 61 seats,” Zohar said before the United Arab List (Ra’am) crossed the threshold, reducing the right-wing bloc to just 59 seats.
“If at the end of the day the right-wing bloc has 61 seats with Bennett, I think we’ll manage to avoid a fifth election.”
Zohar went on to say that if the United Arab List does cross the threshold, denying the right-wing bloc a majority – as now appears to be the case – the Likud won’t rely on the UAL to form a government.
“There are no plans for such a thing. There is no way to form a government with the support of Mansour Abbas, even if they pass the electoral threshold.”
After it became clear that UAL will clear the threshold, however, Zohar said the Likud must do "everything, and I mean everything" to form a government and prevent new elections.
"We are obliged to do everything, and I mean everything, to prevent a fifth election. We must find every possible political option for forming a government that can work for all of Israel's citizens, because that is what is important right now for our country."