Government doesn't depend on Netanyahu - Lapid

Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal that may require him to leave politics.

 THEN-PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a hearing in his trial at the Jerusalem District Court last February.  (photo credit: REUVEN KASTRO/FLASH90)
THEN-PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a hearing in his trial at the Jerusalem District Court last February.
(photo credit: REUVEN KASTRO/FLASH90)

Alternate prime minister Yair Lapid reacted for the first time on Monday to opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu negotiating a plea deal that could result in him leaving politics.

Asked at Yesh Atid's faction meeting if he still thinks his rotation as prime minister would happen if Netanyahu signs a plea deal, Lapid said: "This government will last because it does not depend on Netanyahu. It depends on working together and national unity."

Responding to reports that Netanyahu's successor as Likud leader could form a government in the current Knesset, Lapid said he trusts Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Bennett's Yamina colleague, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to honor the coalition agreement and facilitate the rotation.

At Labor's faction meeting, party leader Merav Michaeli came out against a possible plea deal. 

"We believe justice must be done, especially in light of Netanyahu's attacks on the legal establishment," she said.

 Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz seen during a discussion on the Electricity Law connecting to Arab and Bedouin towns, during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, January 5, 20 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz seen during a discussion on the Electricity Law connecting to Arab and Bedouin towns, during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, January 5, 20 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

At his faction meeting, Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz called on Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to stop the negotiations on a deal that Netanyahu would not honor.

The plea agreement would be "a bad deal for the rule of law" and "the deal of the century" for Netanyahu, he said.