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Yair Lapid willing to join Netanyahu’s government, replace Ben-Gvir

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The opposition party Yesh Atid would be willing to join the government in order to save the 136 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza if the far-right parties Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionist Party leave the government in opposition of a deal, opposition leader and Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid said in an interview on Channel 12 on Tuesday.

The Likud accused Lapid of “pushing for an immediate end to the war without achieving total victory” in a Wednesday evening statement.

“We will not agree to that.”

אני לא מוכן שבגלל פוליטיקה לא ישחררו את החטופים. pic.twitter.com/NqysRTkHZK

— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) January 31, 2024

Yesh Atid responded, “Former prime minister Lapid is pushing for saving the hostages and bringing them home, and not to save Netanyahu and his extremist partners. The Likud, true to its habit, is confused – total victory means returning the hostages after a historic failure, not to stay in power and cling to one’s seat.”

Ben-Gvir had threatened to leave the government if the proposal for the hostage deal and ceasefire in Gaza, which he called “negligent,” would go ahead.

Both National Unity and Otzma Yehudit threatened to leave the emergency government over a possible hostage deal for the release of Israelis being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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“A reckless deal equals dismantling the government,” Ben-Gvir wrote on X.

Lapid keen to serve as ‘safety net’ for Gaza hostage deal

Opposition leader and Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid said soon after that his party would serve as a “safety net for any deal that will return the hostages to their homes.”

“Yesh Atid will not allow Netanyahu’s political problems to block a hostage deal that would bring them home,” the party wrote on X soon after. “Lapid said from day one that it would back any deal, and it will continue to do so. They must be returned home.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Lapid expressed the urgency for reaching a deal: “The first clause, the first line, in the contract between the state and its citizens, says that the state is responsible for their lives; not only for their health or the education of their children but for life in the most basic and simplest sense.”

“We have no way to bring our dead back to life, but we have to bring the hostages home, otherwise something very basic will crumble in our relationship with each other, in the relationship between a people and their country,” he continued, “certainly, in the fundamental trust between the citizens and the government. This must not happen. Some things are not up for debate.”

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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