The longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history, Benjamin Netanyahu, faced the most potent threat yet to his grip on power on Sunday after an ultranationalist power-broker, Naftali Bennett, said his party would work with Opposition leaders to build an alternative government to force Netanyahu from office.
If the manoeuvring leads to a formal coalition agreement, it would be an uneasy alliance between eight relatively small parties with a diffuse range of ideologies. The prime minister’s post would rotate between two unlikely partners: Bennett, a former settler leader who rejects the concept of a sovereign Palestinian State and champions the religious Right — and Yair Lapid, a former television host who is considered a voice of secular centrists.
He added, “If we succeed, we will be doing something huge for the state of Israel.”
Bennett’s announcement came shortly after an armed conflict with Palestinians in Gaza that many thought had improved Netanyahu’s chances of hanging on to his post.