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Lapid calls for emergency unity government to show unity in face of Hamas terror

Opposition leader offered Netanyahu to join “professional government” including Gantz

Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sept. 20, 2023. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid offered to join Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a “professional, limited emergency government,” in a statement on Saturday evening.

In his role as opposition leader, Lapid was updated on the current situation in a meeting with Netanyahu after the security cabinet convened at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv earlier in the day.

Lapid also sent his condolences to the families of the victims of the large-scale terror attack, which claimed at least 100 victims killed on Saturday.

In his statement, Lapid said: “I just met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I informed him that in the current state of emergency, I am willing to put aside all differences to establish a professional, limited emergency government together with him, which will manage the difficult, complex and protracted campaign before us.”

Lapid added that he was sure former Defense Minister Benny Gantz would also join such a government.

“Netanyahu knows that with the extreme and dysfunctional composition of the current cabinet, it is impossible to wage war. The State of Israel needs a professional, experienced and responsible political leader to lead it,” Lapid said.

Lapid's comment is likely a reference to National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

“The establishment of a professional emergency government will make it clear to our enemies that the absolute majority of Israeli citizens stand behind the IDF and the security system," Lapid continued. "It will make it clear to the world, in the international arena, that the people of Israel are uniting and standing together against the threat.”

“We need to put politics aside now, in favor of an emergency government that will conduct this campaign with determination and will not engage in anything else until the complete victory over our enemies,” Lapid stated in closing.

Earlier in the day, Lapid and other heads of the opposition, including National Unity party chairman Benny Gantz, Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman and Labor party head Merav Michaeli, issued a common statement.

“A difficult morning for the State of Israel. We give full backing to the IDF and the security system. We are all united in the face of terrorism and we need to strike it hard and determined. Hamas and any other terrorist organization that cooperates with it, in the south or in other areas, have to pay a heavy price for this attack. It is necessary to mobilize the international community against terrorism.”

“In days like these, there is no opposition and no coalition in Israel. We will give full support to the security forces for a sharp and severe response against terrorism and its messengers,” they added.   

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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