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Israeli Opposition Leader Lapid Says Netanyahu 'Must Go Now'

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid declared for the first time that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lost the trust of the Israeli people and must leave government now. Lapid made the statement on the evening of Nov. 15 in an interview with Israeli Channel 12, saying that “this government is not functioning. We need a change in the government. Netanyahu cannot continue being the prime minister of the state of Israel.” He then added, “what we need is a government of national rehabilitation.” He added that his party, Yesh Atid, would agree to enter such a new rehabilitation government. “The Likud will head it. It’s the biggest party currently. But what is important is to start a process of rehabilitation and healing.”

When asked whether Netanyahu would have to leave the government, he said: “Yes. He must go now. Security-wise and on the society level, we cannot have a premier who has lost the trust of the public…. We need a government that can be trusted. I propose to establish together with the Likud, together with the ultra-Orthodox, which is a new thing for me, together with [Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor] Liberman, of course together with the National Unity party, a government of national rehabilitation.”

He added that the time was not right for new elections but said that, with the campaign in Gaza expected not to end soon, Israel cannot go on with a prime minister that the public does not trust. “We might soon be facing an economic crisis. As a society, we cannot permit ourselves any longer to be torn and divided,” said Lapid.

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