Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid declared on Thursday that the proper time has come to remove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office and that the right-wing Likud party would have widespread support in forming a unity government.
Lapid, a centrist who momentarily led Israel as prime minister in 2017 said he thought most of the 120 members of the Knesset, or parliament, would support such a partnership.
He made his comments as Israel pressed on with its military offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 rampage through southern Israel.
“The time has come – we need to establish a national reconstruction government. Likud will lead it, Netanyahu and the extremists will be replaced, over 90 members of the Knesset will be partners in the coalition for healing and reconnection,” Lapid wrote on social media platform X.
Netanyahu’s Likud is the largest party in Israel’s ruling coalition, which includes ultra-nationalist and religious parties. Together they control 64 seats in parliament.
Lapid refused to join Netanyahu’s war cabinet at the start of the war, though other centrist lawmakers agreed to do so and help manage the conflict.
“I hear those saying this is not the time. We waited 40 days, there is no more time. What we need now is a government that will deal with nothing other than security and the economy,” Lapid wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“We can’t afford another election cycle in the coming year in which we continue to fight and explain why the other side is a disaster.”