Israeli defence minister resigns

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Jerusalem, May 20 (IANS) Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Friday announced his resignation, citing his “lack of confidence” in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The move came as Netanyahu was reportedly attempting to oust him in order to give his post to lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman from the Yisrael Beytenu (“Israel Our Home”) party, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I informed the prime minister this morning that following his recent actions and developments, and in light of (my) lack of confidence in him, I am resigning from the government,” Ya’alon wrote on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

He added that he will also leave the Knesset (parliament) and will take time off from political life.

Netanyahu and Lieberman’s factions were in intense negotiations on Thursday to finalise the details of the deal, which would pave the way for Lieberman’s party into the government, and increase Netanyahu’s coalition lead on the opposition from 61-59 to 66-54.

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Lieberman demanded the defence ministry portfolio from Netanyahu in order to join his coalition, as well as promoting a law that would seek death penalties to Palestinian attackers of Israelis.



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