The head of Israel’s Yamina Party, Naftali Bennett, encouraged parliament on Sunday to have a vote next week on creating a coalition government.
Bennett called on Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin to convene the vote on the government that would see his party join with seven others and have him unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and not delay the matter until the following week.
“That’s what’s appropriate,” he said. “I know Netanyahu is pressing you … to allow more days to search for defectors … it might be in Netanyahu’s interest … [but] it’s not in the interest of the state.”
Bennett, Netanyahu’s former defence minister, stated last week that he would form a coalition with the Yesh Atid Party and its leader, Yair Lapid, with Bennett taking over as Prime Minister immediately and Lapid taking over at a later date.
If Bennett’s government is elected on Wednesday, an official transition will take place within 48 hours.
Bennett urged Netanyahu to “let go” and “let the country move forwards.” in a statement issued on Sunday.
“Don’t leave scorched earth in your wake. We want to remember the good, the great deal of good you did during your service [as prime minister], and not, God forbid, a negative atmosphere you would leave upon your departure.”
Netanyahu’s staff, however, was not preparing for the likely transition, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.
On Sunday, he called on lawmakers in parties associated with the coalition to vote against the government, declaring that it “endangers the State of Israel.”
“It is late, but not too late. Do the right thing and vote against the left-wing government,” he said.