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Netanyahu picked to form Israel govt

Posted on 03/01/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

Accepting the nomination from President Shimon Peres on Friday, the former premier named Iran as the main threat to Israel\’s existence and made no direct reference to peace talks with the Palestinians.

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Netanyahu is pushing for a broad coalition, evidently keen to avert a repeat of the situation in 1999, when his government collapsed following the defection of far-right parties that accused him of making concessions to Palestinians.

Livni, the outgoing foreign minister, emerged from talks with Peres saying she would have nothing to do with a right-wing coalition.

“I will not be a pawn in a government that would be against our ideals,” she said. Israel needs “a government based on a two-state solution” for Palestinians and Israel, she said.

Livni pursued for coalition

But Netanyahu did not give up on his hopes and invited Livni for talks on Sunday.

“I turn to the Kadima and Labour leaders: let us close ranks and act together,” he said. “I want to meet you first and discuss the formation of a broad government coalition.”

Netanyahu did not directly mention Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and made no mention of the US-backed two-state solution, focusing instead on what he said was the threat from Iran.

“Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence,” he said.

“The responsibility we face is to achieve security for our country, peace with our neighbours and unity among us.”

External reactions

Reacting to the nomination, the Palestinian Authority said it would only deal with the new Israeli government if it was committed to the peace process.

“We will not deal with the Israeli government unless it accepts a two-state solution and accepts to halt settlements and to respect past accords,” president Mahmud Abbas\’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said.

The United States pledged its support to the incoming government, with State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid saying Washington remained “optimistic” for a solution to the regional peace process.

The US also echoed Netanyahu\’s emphasis on Iran, when White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Tehran\’s suspect nuclear program “is an urgent problem that has to be addressed and we can\’t delay addressing”.

The comments came a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran continued to enrich uranium, a key stage in the atom bomb making process, but had slowed down the expansion of its enrichment activities.

Focus on the West Bank

Netanyahu believes the time is not ripe to discuss the key issues in Middle East peace talks, including the borders of a proposed Palestinian state, and wants to focus on improving daily life in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

He insists Jerusalem will remain Israel\’s undivided capital.

Palestinians want east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and later annexed, to be the capital of their future state.

Netanyahu, 59, has also insisted he will not be tied by a recent pledge by outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to withdraw settlers from the occupied Palestinian territory.

As premier from 1996 to 1999, he put the brakes on the peace process, in part by authorising a major expansion of Jewish settlements.

But he also made more concessions than his hardline rhetoric had led Israelis to expect, and under US pressure he concluded two agreements with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Netanyahu has vowed that if he returns to power he will topple the Hamas rulers of Gaza and put a stop to rocket attacks which have continued sporadically since the January 18 end of Israel\’s 22-day Gaza military offensive that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.

Most capable of forming a coalition

While Likud, with 27 of the 120 parliamentary seats, has one seat less than Kadima, Netanyahu emerged as the only one able to rally sufficient support to form a government coalition.

Netanyahu can count on the support of 65 of the 120 members of parliament, if he relies on parties to the right of his own despite his stated preference for a broad coalition.

He has 28 days to put together a coalition. If necessary Peres can extend the deadline by 14 days.

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