Israel’s Lieberman tenders resignation to PM Netanyahu

By Abdel Raouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu one day after announcing his intention to step down from the post, according to the Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

On Wednesday, Lieberman announced his decision to resign in protest against a ceasefire deal hammered out one day earlier between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions.

The hardline defense minister announced his intention to step down at a meeting of members of his Yisrael Beiteinu party, during which he reportedly described the Hamas-Israel ceasefire as “a surrender to terror”.

Following Lieberman’s resignation, Education Minister Naftali Bennett threatened to withdraw his right-wing Jewish Home party from Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition government unless he was given the defense portfolio following Lieberman’s exit.

Netanyahu is now reportedly holding intensive consultations with several party leaders in hopes of heading off the crisis now facing his shaky coalition government.

Sources close to Netanyahu reportedly told the IBA that the prime minister was considering making Bennett defense minister in hopes of keeping the latter’s party in his governing coalition.

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