Tag Archives: coalition

Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming coalition as US hails prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace

Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming coalition as US hails prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peaceBenjamin Netanyahu yesterday began negotiations to form a new Right-wing coalition after seeing off a centrist challenger in a close election and securing a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister.  Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party won the same number of seats as Blue & White, a centrist coalition led by former general Benny Gantz, but the victory of other Right-wing parties gave the prime minister a clear path to a majority government.  “I already began talks with the leaders of the Right-wing parties, our natural partners,” Mr Netanyahu told his cheering supporters in Tel Aviv. “I intend to finish the work quickly, with the aim of forming a stable national government.”  The result was hailed by Donald Trump, who said the prime minister’s victory meant “a better chance” for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but was met with dismay by Palestinians. The election will cement Mr Netanyahu’s reputation as the most successful election-winner in Israeli history and prove that his brand of divisive Right-wing politics is the country’s dominant political force. Israel election The 69-year-old has been in power for 13 years and is now on course to overtake David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.  Despite his election success, Mr Netanyahu is still facing criminal corruption charges that have the potential to drive him from office by the end of the year. Opponents suspect he will use his new majority to try to pass an immunity law to shield himself from prosecution.  Mr Netanyahu, known in Israel as “Bibi”, denies all wrongdoing and claims the prosecutions are part of a politically-motivated witch hunt against him and his family.   Mr Netanyahu (left) defeated Benny Gantz (right) Credit: ABIR SULTAN/EPA-EFE/REX That explanation appeared to satisfy a majority of Israeli voters, who cast their ballots for parties committed to keeping Mr Netanyahu in power.  “I know some of the things Bibi did are wrong but I’m not looking for a rabbi. I’m looking for a leader,” said Yaakov Lemash, 76, after voting for Likud. Mr Netanyahu’s Likud and Mr Gantz’s Blue & White each appeared to have won 35 seats in Israel’s 120-member parliament. But while Likud and the Right-wing parties had a clear route to a majority, Mr Gantz did not have enough allies on the Centre-Left.   The former general, who rose from a commando to the head of Israel’s military, conceded the election on Wednesday evening. But his party said it was already gearing up to fight another election next year if the criminal case against Mr Netanyahu drives him from office Letters from Jerusalem RHS Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump praised Mr Netanyahu as a friend and ally. "I never made it a promise but everybody said you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians," Mr Trump said. "I think we have a chance and I think we have now a better chance with Bibi having won.” The president handed Mr Netanyahu a major pre-election boost by recognising Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights two weeks before polling day.   The White House has said it will release its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, referred to as “the Deal of the Century” sometime after the Israeli elections.  Skeptics question whether the long-awaited plan will ever be released, as it has been pre-emptively rejected by the Palestinians and may cause political difficulties for Mr Netanyahu and America’s Arab allies.    “I never made it a promise”pic.twitter.com/Npi6wDwQJ6— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) April 10, 2019 Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian official, said Israelis “overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession in Palestine”. The next step in the election is for Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, to summon party leaders for consultations before formally announcing next week who will be tasked with forming a government.    Mr Netanyahu’s potential coalition partners began publicly announcing their demands in return for joining the government. One small Right-wing party demanded two ministerial posts, while another called for a harder line against Hamas in Gaza.   Israel’s two ultra-Orthodox parties increased their standing from 13 to 16 seats, giving them more sway within a future coalition.  The parties are focused on budgets for religious communities but also on preventing public transportation on Shabbat, the Jewish holy day, and blocking a compromise to allow more liberal Jews space at the Western Wall.  Mr Netanyahu was dogged throughout his last term by Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked, two ambitious young ministers from a hardline conservative party who perpetually assailed the prime minister from his Right.   In a disastrous political miscalculation, Mr Bennett and Ms Shaked’s new party looked like it failed to pass the minimum vote threshold, leaving both of them without ministries or even parliamentary seats.



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AP Exclusive: Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks

AP Exclusive: Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talksCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The coalition of Latin American governments that joined the U.S. in quickly recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president came together over weeks of secret diplomacy that included whispered messages to activists under constant surveillance and a high-risk foreign trip by the opposition leader challenging President Nicolas Maduro for power, those involved in the talks said.



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U.S.-led coalition withdrawing equipment from Syria

U.S.-led coalition withdrawing equipment from SyriaPresident Donald Trump’s announcement last month that he had decided to withdraw the 2,000 U.S. troops there stunned allies who have joined Washington in the battle against Islamic State militants in Syria. Senior U.S. officials were shocked too, among them Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in protest. U.S. Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman, said the coalition “has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria.” “Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements,” Ryan said.



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Netanyahu Coalition to Dissolve, Elections Called for April

Netanyahu Coalition to Dissolve, Elections Called for AprilCoalition faction leaders voted unanimously Monday to dissolve parliament and call early elections for April 9. Elections originally were scheduled for November 2019, but no Israeli coalition in the past 30 years has served out its term. Speculation has been rife for months that the current government would fall, too, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces multiple corruption allegations.



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Israel coalition leaders agree on early elections in April: spokesman

Israel coalition leaders agree on early elections in April: spokesmanIsraeli coalition leaders agreed Monday to hold early elections in April, seven months before they are due, a statement issued on their behalf said. Coalition party heads in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have decided to dissolve parliament and hold elections in early April “in the name of budgetary and national responsibility,” the statement distributed by a spokesman for Netanyahu’s Likud party said. The decision comes with the coalition struggling to agree on a key bill related to ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the military like their secular counterparts.



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Trump loses US envoy to anti-IS coalition over Syria plan

Trump loses US envoy to anti-IS coalition over Syria planWASHINGTON (AP) — Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest over President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security figures. McGurk described Trump's decision as a "shock."



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US envoy to anti-IS coalition resigns after Trump's Syria decision

US envoy to anti-IS coalition resigns after Trump's Syria decisionBrett McGurk, the US special envoy to the anti-Islamic State group coalition, has resigned, a State Department official said Saturday, capping a chaotic week that saw the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Donald Trump’s stunning decision to pull troops from Syria. McGurk’s resignation, effective December 31, comes on the heels of Mattis’s decision to quit the Trump administration over key disagreements with the US president, notably the Syria withdrawal. Just last week McGurk, a Barack Obama appointee whom Trump kept on, said “nobody is declaring a mission accomplished” in the battle against IS — just days before the president blindsided politicians and allies with his announcement of victory against the jihadist movement.



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Brett McGurk, US envoy to anti-ISIS coalition, quits over Trump’s Syria move, reports say

Brett McGurk, US envoy to anti-ISIS coalition, quits over Trump’s Syria move, reports sayBrett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest to President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.



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Netanyahu's main coalition partner pushes for early election

Netanyahu's main coalition partner pushes for early electionJERUSALEM (AP) — Israel moved closer to early elections Friday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main coalition partner, the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, said it wants a vote "as soon as possible," and will press for consultations on a date on Sunday.



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Netanyahu battles to save weakened ruling coalition

Netanyahu battles to save weakened ruling coalitionIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party denied Friday that he had decided to call a snap election, as he battled to keep the government afloat after his defence minister quit over a Gaza ceasefire. Netanyahu’s ruling coalition was left with a single seat majority in parliament after the walkout on Wednesday by Avigdor Lieberman and his hawkish Yisrael Beitenu party. Netanyahu held crunch talks on Friday with his other main right-wing rival, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, whose religious nationalist Jewish Home party has threatened also to quit unless he is given Lieberman’s job.



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