Lapid presided over the first session since acting prime minister
Acting Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid today presided over the first session since taking office and promised that the government will be functional despite the political instability due to the country’s upcoming fifth election in less than four years.Lapid also warned that Israel will take every step necessary to defend itself after the Israeli army shot down three drones launched by the Lebanese extremist Hezbollah last night.

The new prime minister, the leader of the center party Yesh Atid (There is a future), took over the post of prime minister from Naftali Bennett last week based on a coalition agreement on power sharing.

Bennett, the leader of the right-wing party Jamina (Desno), was prime minister for only one year, and stepped down after his coalition lost its majority in the parliament (Knesset). The Knesset was dissolved and new elections are scheduled for November 1.

In the election campaign, Lapid is expected to try to convince voters to accept his vision and make it impossible for former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was deposed last year after 12 consecutive years of rule, to lead the country again.

“In the coming months, the goal of everyone present here is to run the government as if there was no election campaign. The citizens of Israel deserve a functional government at all times,” said Lapid.

He faced his first challenge on Saturday when Hezbollah launched drones toward an area in the Mediterranean Sea where an Israeli gas platform had recently been installed.

The move appears to be an attempt by Hezbollah to influence indirect US-brokered talks between Israel and Lebanon on the maritime border in the natural gas-rich area.

“Hezbollah continues on its path of terrorism, undermining Lebanon’s ability to reach an agreement on the maritime border. Israel will continue to defend itself, its citizens and its property,” Lapid said.

The new prime minister, who until now was the head of diplomacy, will soon travel to Paris, where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, and then he will host Joseph Biden when he makes his first visit to Israel since he became US president on July 13.

That visit could contribute to Lapid’s popularity, and the next election, like the previous four cycles, will most likely be a referendum on Netanyahu’s ability to govern while he is on trial for corruption.

Netanyahu denies all the charges, but several political parties have refused to join the government he led, complicating efforts to form a coalition and end the political deadlock.

By Editor

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