Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli former defense minister and head of the party Yisrael Beiteinu, announced he will back Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, but not before the prime minister vows to end a ceasefire with Hamas and pledges to approve a plan to liquidate the movement, according to sources within the party cited by the Daily Sabah.
Lieberman has taken advantage of the similar number of seats won by Likud and its main rival, the Blue and White alliance led by ex-military chief Benny Gantz, Asharq Al-Awsat reports.
Yisrael Beiteinu’s support would allow Netanyahu to form a simple majority coalition in order to take control of the Knesset and secure President Rivlin’s approval of his candidacy as the next prime minister.
Lieberman also reportedly warned Netanyahu of a “serious crisis” if the prime minister decided to reject his demand.
Following his announcement, the former defense minister reportedly left Tel Aviv for a long private trip to an unnamed Eastern European country.
The politician has not yet formally announced he will back Likud and still may emerge as a wild card, the Daily Sabah reports, noting that the Israeli regime is going to face “weeks” of political negotiations over the next ruling coalition’s composition.