Boost for Netanyahu as Bennett says he won’t resign, averting early election
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Boost for Netanyahu as Bennett says he won’t resign, averting early election

Israeli prime minister appears to hold his coalition government together after right-wing leader of Jewish Home Party calls off resignation

Naftali Bennet. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Naftali Bennet. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

A senior coalition partner in Israel’s government has said he will not resign, averting early elections for now.

The country’s education minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that his Jewish Home party was giving Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu another chance.

His decision comes despite a crisis over the handling of a recent ceasefire with Gaza militants.

Mr Bennett was widely expected to announce his party’s withdrawal from the coalition, which would have stripped Mr Netanyahu of his parliamentary majority and triggered early polls.

Analysts had expected elections to be held in March.

Mr Bennett had threatened to bring down the government if he was not appointed defence minister, a portfolio taken by Mr Netanyahu on Sunday.

The coalition crisis was triggered by a botched Israeli raid in Gaza last week that led to intense fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Mr Netanyahu’s decision to approve a ceasefire sparked anger with coalition partner Avigdor Lieberman, seen as a hardliner, quitting as defence minister.

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