Netanyahu Calls ‘Crisis Meeting’ to Warn Likud that Right-wing Coalition in Peril

J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben Ami addressing the group’s conference in Washington

J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben Ami addressing the group’s conference in Washington

There have however been repeated warnings of the unreliability of polls in the past and the fact that many voters say they remain undecided.

Benny Gantz, the former military chief whose centrist Blue and White alliance has posed a stiff challenge to Netanyahu, condemned the premier's remarks in an interview with Israeli news site Ynet.

He went on to endorse a two-state solution in order to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Shas party leader Aryeh Deri lashed out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, saying his final campaign blitz in the days leading up to Tuesday's election could come at the expense of his own ultra-Orthodox party or other political allies.

Both moves delighted Israel, infuriated Palestinian and Arab leaders, and were opposed by most USA allies.

No single party in Israel has ever won a majority of seats in parliament; the country has always had coalition governments.

Netanyahu has promoted Jewish settlement expansion in his four terms as prime minister, but until now refrained from presenting a detailed vision for the West Bank, seen by the Palestinians as the heartland of a future state.

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Deri warned that Netanyahu's aggressive media campaign urging right-wing supporters to vote Likud could ultimately sink one or two smaller right-wing parties below the electoral threshold, thus depriving the right of a majority in the Knesset.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for his election pledge to annex occupied West Bank territory belonging to Palestinians, saying that everything the country has been doing since 1948 violates global law and United Nations resolutions. "Everyone has to vote Likud, otherwise we would have a left government", he claimed, according to the Jerusalem Post.

However, his manifesto also calls for Israeli annexation of the entire occupied West Bank and for its forces to take control of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex where the Al-Aqsa mosque, Dome of the Rock, and Western Wall are located.

The incumbent prime minister also said he had told President Donald Trump that would not evacuate "a single person" from the 400,000 or so Jews residing in the West Bank. Polls indicate that he has the best chance to form a ruling coalition. Last month, Trump reversed decades of United States policy when he announced his decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the disputed territory of the Golan Heights ― a move widely seen as boosting Netanyahu's chances at the polls.

Netanyahu has made last-minute appeals to the right, issuing a deeply controversial pledge to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Just you wait, good people of Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt - help is on the way, as soon as Israel signs a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, you will no longer be gassed, maimed, imprisoned, raped and otherwise inconvenienced.

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