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Expect dirty tricks in Netanyahu's last battle for survival

Most experts believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not open a new military front just to avoid his downfall, but will use every dirty political trick in the book to stay in power.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a special session of the Knesset, in which Knesset members elected Isaac Herzog as the new president, Jerusalem, June 2, 2021.

“If we need to choose — and I hope it will not happen — between friction with our great friend, the US, and getting rid of an existential threat, getting rid of an existential threat will prevail,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared June 1 at a farewell ceremony for Mossad Director Yossi Cohen and swearing-in of his successor, David Barnea.

Netanyahu’s statement, two days before Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett reported to President Reuven Rivlin that they had mobilized sufficient Knesset votes to form a new government, prompted concern among security officials. Was Netanyahu considering setting the region on fire to avoid handing power to a new government after 12 successive years in office (and 15 in all)?

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