Netanyahu hand 311.
(photo credit: Emile Salman)
Against the backdrop of three ministers resigning from his government and his defense minister creating a new political faction, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to reporters at the Knesset on Monday.
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The prime minister said that "the whole world, including the Palestinians, knows that this government will be here for the coming years." He continued, "We want to restart and advance the peace process based on our interests," primarily security.
He added that his government will act responsibly in order to take care of and work for the betterment of Israel.
The Knesset House Committee on Monday approved a request by Defense
Minister Ehud Barak to split from the Labor party and form a new faction
called 'Independence' (Atzmaut). The split was approved with a majority
of 11 MKs voting in favor.
Shortly after the announcement, Netanyahu made a request to begin
coalition negotiations with the newly-formed faction. Representatives from
the prime minister's office were expected to meet with "Independence"
representatives MK Einat Wilf and Agricultural Minister Shalom Simhon.
Barak said that the faction's agenda will be "first of all the state,
then the party, then the media, and only then ourselves." He vowed that
he and Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, MK Shalom Simhon, Deputy
Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Orit Noked, and MK Einat Wilf
would "do what's best and what's right for Israel."
"We are creating a new faction and we will call on everyone who believes in our path to join."