Shaked threatens Yamina will quit government if Lapid advances Palestinian state

PM's longtime running mate issues warning after foreign minister suggested two-state solution could be discussed once government rotates and he is standing at helm of affairs

i24news, Ynet|
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked warned on Sunday that her Yamina party will quit the government if coalition co-leader Yair Lapid works toward the establishment of a Palestinian state.
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  • Shaked was responding to an interview the foreign minister gave to public broadcaster Kan last week in which he stated that "a two-state solution could be advanced when the government rotates in two years' time."
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    מליאת הכנסת
    מליאת הכנסת
    Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett both head the coalition under a rotating power-sharing deal, with the Yesh Atid chief slated to become prime minister after two years.
    At the same time, Lapid acknowledged that the prospect of a Palestinian state could not even be raised during Bennett's time at the helm as his political faction categorically opposes such a move.
    "If this happens [Lapid] won't have a government," Shaked told Kan Radio in an interview. "No Palestinian state will be established in a government that we [Yamina] are party to. This thing is known to Lapid and [fellow coalition members on] the left. It was clear that this government won't deal with such contentious issues."
    The issue of the two-state question has reportedly arisen ahead of Bennett's upcoming meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden scheduled later this week in Washington.
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    נפתלי בנט יאיר לפיד
    נפתלי בנט יאיר לפיד
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
    There are some concerns that Biden could try and force concessions from the Israeli leader on the heels of the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan for which he has personally received heavy criticism.
    However, Shaked mused that the meeting would more likely concentrate on more pressing issues such as the Iranian nuclear threat and the COVID-19 pandemic.
    For his part, Biden has not proposed potential resolutions to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, although historically he has favored a return to the 1949 Armistice lines. During the May conflict between Hamas and Israel, Biden was initially supportive of the Israel Defense Forces' response to thousands of rockets launched into Israel by the Islamist terrorist group.
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