Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Times Of Israel Live: Netanyahu Falls Short Of Majority, Urges 'Stable' Govt, Israel Strikes Hamas Targets In Gaza

Short of majority, Netanyahu urges ‘stable’ government, extends hand to rivals

Netanyahu cheers Likud’s ‘great accomplishment’ of finishing as largest party

Prime Minister Netanyahu arrives at the Likud election party in Jerusalem, where the mood appears largely subdued after updated exit polls indicated the premier’s right-wing religious bloc fell short of a majority.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara take the stage as the Likud jingle plays, waiving to cheering lawmakers and supporters. Chants of “Bibi, king of Israel” are heard.

He says “this evening we achieved a great accomplishment,” noting Likud finished well ahead of other parties. Exit polls said the party would get 30-31 seats, down from 36 in the outgoing Knesset.

Netanyahu touts the success of Israel’s vaccination drive and says Israel is now exiting the pandemic, which he calls “the third world war.”

He calls for the formation of a “stable government” and says he won’t rule out anyone.

Netanyahu says ‘we can’t go to fifth elections,’ hints he’ll seek defectors

Netanyahu claims any government that is formed without him as prime minister will quickly collapse, resulting in yet another round of elections.

“We can’t go to fifth elections,” he says.

Netanyahu hints he may try to pick off candidates from other parties to reach a majority, after speaking with the heads of right-wing and religious factions.

“I will speak will all MKs who espouse the principles I spoke about,” he says.

Those principles include support for free-market economic policies, “safeguarding the Land of Israel,” countering Iran and opposing the ICC war crimes probe of Israel and Palestinian terror groups.

Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after election day rocket fire

The Israeli military strikes the Gaza Strip after Palestinian terrorists in the coastal enclave fired a rocket into Israel yesterday during the general elections.

The Israel Defense Forces says combat planes and helicopters attacked a rocket production facility and military post belonging to Hamas, the terror organization that rules Gaza.

The rocket landed in a field near Beersheba, shortly after Prime Minister Netanyahu made a campaign stop in the southern city.

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