Netanyahu Misses Deadline, Political Future In Question

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    FILE - In this Wednesday, April 14, 2021 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Memorial Day ceremony at the military cemetery at Mount Herzl, Jerusalem. Netanyahu faces a midnight deadline on Tuesday, May 4, to put together a new coalition government. If he fails, he faces the possibility of leading his Likud party into the opposition for the first time in 12 years. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, Pool, File)

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has missed a midnight deadline for putting together a new coalition government.

    His failure to reach an agreement late Tuesday raises the possibility that Netanyahu’s Likud party could be pushed into the opposition for the first time in 12 years.

    The matter now bounces back to Israel’s figurehead president, Reuven Rivlin, who is expected to consult with leaders of the parties elected to parliament in March before deciding how to proceed.

    The turmoil does not mean that Netanyahu will immediately be forced out as prime minister. But he suddenly faces a serious threat to his lengthy rule. His opponents already have been holding informal talks in recent weeks to lay the groundwork for a power-sharing deal.


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