בנימין נתניהו בצלאל סמוטריץ'
Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Hadar Yoavian, Kobi Koankes
Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Key Netanyahu ally says 'maybe time to replace PM'

Religious Zionist Party leader attacks premier amid Jerusalem riots and Gaza rocket salvos; Likud whip calls Smotrich 'ungrateful' and urges him to 'show a little humility'

i24NEWS |
Published: 04.25.21 , 09:02
Amid violent riots in Jerusalem and a volley of rocket fire emanating from the Gaza Strip, a key ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested on Saturday evening that the time may have come for the country to pick a new leader.
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  • "Maybe it's time to replace Netanyahu," leader of the far-right Religious Zionist Party, Bezalel Smotrich, wrote on Twitter.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו בצלאל סמוטריץ'
    בנימין נתניהו בצלאל סמוטריץ'
    Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Hadar Yoavian, Kobi Koankes)
    Attached to the tweet was also a video of what appeared to be Arab youths attacking a Jewish man in Jerusalem.
    "Tell me, after countless terror attacks and lynchings from the Arab enemy in the last few days and after a barrage of [rockets] from Gaza at the communities in the South, Netanyahu wants us to 'calm down on both sides?'"
    Likud whip Miki Zohar was first to respond to the post, calling the Religious Zionist Party leader "ungrateful."
    "You only passed the [electoral] threshold because Likud gave you three seats [in the election]," Zohar charged. "A little humility wouldn't hurt."
    Fresh clashes broke out later Saturday between Palestinians and police after Netanyahu called for "calm on all sides" after several nights of unrest in East Jerusalem.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    עימותים עם מפגינים במזרח ירושלים בהם מספר עצורים ושוטר שנפצע
    עימותים עם מפגינים במזרח ירושלים בהם מספר עצורים ושוטר שנפצע
    Security forces fight off protesters in East Jerusalem riots
    (Photo: Reuters)
    But the premier also warned that Israel remains "prepared for all scenarios" after dozens of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, prompting Israeli retaliatory airstrikes.
    Thirty-six rockets were launched overnight Friday, the Israeli army said, the most in a single night this year after Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas voiced support for the East Jerusalem riots.
    "First of all we want to ensure that law and order are respected... now we demand compliance with the law and I call for calm on all sides," Netanyahu said in a statement after holding security talks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi.

    Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.
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