Israel’s Lieberman ‘not backing anyone for PM’

Israeli ex-defense minister Avigdor Lieberman addresses members of his party Yisrael Beitenu, during a meeting in the cooperative Israeli village of Yad Hashmona near Jerusalem on September 22, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2019

Israel’s Lieberman ‘not backing anyone for PM’

  • Lieberman has insisted on a unity government between his party

JERUSALEM: Israeli ex-Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday he will not endorse either Benjamin Netanyahu or Benny Gantz for prime minister following last week’s deadlocked elections.

Lieberman, who could potentially play a kingmaker role, spoke to journalists as President Reuven Rivlin began consulting political parties on who they will back for prime minister. Lieberman’s secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party won eight seats in the 120-seat Parliament in Tuesday’s election. A delegation from Lieberman’s secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party was due to meet Rivlin later on Sunday.

Yisrael Beitenu won eight seats in the 120-seat Parliament in Tuesday’s election.

Lieberman has insisted on a unity government between his party, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White. He said he could not for now back Netanyahu because he is willing to form a coalition with Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, which he accuses of seeking to impose religious law on the secular population.

Lieberman also said he could not back Gantz for now because he may reach a deal with either the ultra-Orthodox or Israel’s Arab parties, which he called “enemies.”


Palestinian official Erekat undergoes bronchostomy

Updated 21 October 2020

Palestinian official Erekat undergoes bronchostomy

  • Erekat has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel
  • He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the current president

JERUSALEM: A doctor treating Palestinian official Saeb Erekat for COVID-19 performed a bronchostomy on Wednesday to examine the condition of his respiratory system, his daughter said.
Salam Erekat said on Twitter that her father remained intubated and connected to an ECMO machine, which does the work of the lungs by transferring oxygen into blood.
She said it would take several days to get the results. “Hopefully things will take a better way. Pray for my father,” said Salam Erekat, who herself is a physician.
Erekat, 65, was transferred Sunday from the West Bank to Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center.
The hospital has said he is in critical but stable condition, and that its medical team is consulting with experts around the world to deal with the case. It says Erekat’s case is especially complicated given his history of health issues, including a lung transplant in 2017.
Erekat, 65, has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel and making frequent media appearances. He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas.