Bennett Doubtful Lapid Will Get Turn at PM

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (in black mask) with Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett doesn’t think his government coalition will hold together long enough for Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to have his turn at the premiership, according to a report on Channel 12 on Thursday.

“I estimate that the rotation will not happen,” Bennett was quoted as saying in a recent meeting. “There is a considerable chance that the government will dissolve between the [passage of the] budget and the time of the change of power, for various reasons.”

He did not elaborate, but the coalition members have been lashing out at each other in recent days over a number of issues, including the proposal to establish an official day of mourning for the 1956 Kafir Kassem massacre and the approval of 3,000 new homes in Yehuda and Shomron. Bennett has been urging a ceasefire, at least until the budget is passed, but to no avail.

Bennett’s office did not deny the story, but stressed that he “will fully honor the rotation deal, as he has been saying from the get-go. The rotation is scheduled to go into effect August 2023

“The partnership with Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is based on mutual trust and fairness,” the statement continued. “Ahead of the passage of the budget, which guarantees the stability of the government, there are predictable reports of various quotes from various times that were only said as estimations.

“The budget will pass and the partnership will continue.”

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked said she did not know what will happen, when asked if the rotation deal will be implemented.