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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming out swinging against the coalition of opposition groups that have come together to oust him, calling it the “fraud of the century.”
In televised remarks to the Israeli people Sunday night, the defiant leader made it clear he was not going down without a fight.
“This is not unity, healing or democracy. This is an opportunistic government. A government of capitulation, a government of fraud, a government of inertia. A government like this must not be formed,” the Israeli leader said of the unity pact between opposition groups to oust him after 12 years in power.
By Monday morning, top negotiators for the major parties involved had hit snags in discussions about power-sharing, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Still, the coalition appears to mark the greatest challenge to Netanyahu’s hold on power as prime minister.
The coalition, put together following weeks of bipartisan negotiations, was organized after Israel came under attack by a barrage of rockets launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip this month, sending residents fleeing for shelter as air raid sirens blared across Israel’s cities.
Hamas claimed the attacks came in response to a clash between Israeli police and Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque at the close of Ramadan.
Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, took Gaza in the 2007 Palestinian civil war against the less-radical leadership of the Palestinian Authority.
Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted many of the rockets, with the streaks of interceptor missiles lighting up the sky.
The outbreak of violence was the worst fighting between Israel and the terror group since their 2014 war.
A cease-fire was brokered just before the end of last weekend, and was holding as of one week later Monday.
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