Shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday accepted a mandate to form Israel’s next government, the Likud Chairman arranged to meet Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Sunday for coalition talks. Livni told Netanyahu by phone that he was well aware of her position and there was nothing preventing them from meeting. Both rivals had laid claim to victory after last week’s inconclusive general election.
“Today the foundation was laid for an extreme right-wing government led by [Likud Chairman Benjamin] Netanyahu. This is not our way, and there is nothing for us in such a government,” Kadima leader Tzipi Livni told party members on Thursday, after 65 MKs announced their decision to support Netanyahu for the post of prime minister-designate
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday continued its assault on Gaza Strip militants responsible for the Qassam rockets that batter southern Israel on a daily basis, raising the death toll among Islamic Jihad and Hamas to 13 in the past 24 hours.