Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday oversaw his first faction meeting as opposition leader, promising that his allies in the right-wing bloc will work tirelessly to topple Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's "dangerous fraudulent" government.
Flanked by the heads of the Shas, United Torah Judaism and the Religious Zionist parties, Netanyahu stated that the new coalition will "fall much faster than expected because what united them is hate."
"We have a strong opposition like no other," he added. "We are vehemently united in toppling this dangerous left-wing government."
Bennett, 49, a former ally of Netanyahu turned rival, became prime minister after a 60-59 vote in Knesset on Sunday. Bennett will hold office for two years, and will be replaced for two years by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, the architect of the coalition.
As foreign minister, Lapid ione of 27 ministers in a carefully constructed coalition of right-wing Yamina, New Hope and Yisrael Beytenu, centrist Yesh Atid and Blue & White, left-wing Meretz and Labor and Islamist Ra'am.
The new government marks the end of a political crisis that sparked four elections in two years, including two rounds of voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Netanyahu on Monday reiterated his claim that Bennett cheated his voters, saying that the person "who transfers six Knesset seats, in an act of fraud, from the right to the left could maybe mislead and form a temporary government and nothing else."
The Likud leader also hinted of possible cooperation with the predominantly Arab Joint List alliance, saying that the opposition would hold a meeting every Monday at 1:30pm and if needed would include "the entire opposition."
Netanyahu stressed the need for "ironclad discipline in the opposition," asking members to refrain from infighting.
"If we focus all of our efforts, we can topple them, and we have a good reason to topple them: the good of the country," he said.
The gathering took place several hours after Netanyahu's extraordinarily short hand-over meeting with Bennett in his Jerusalem office, which lasted some 30 minutes.
The formal transfer of power meeting ended without the traditional ceremony and public good wishes, without a handshake and with no photo op.