(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, announced Monday that his party would be splitting from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, effectively dissolving a political partnership the two parties formed ahead of the 2013 Israeli general election.
According to Army Radio, Netanyahu and Lieberman held a long private meeting on Monday morning. Lieberman then continued to a Yisrael Beiteinu faction meeting, after which he called a press conference in Jerusalem and announced the split, which spells the end of the Likud-Beiteinu Knesset faction.
“It’s no secret that the differences of opinion between the prime minister and me have become pivotal and fundamental,” Lieberman told reporters. “The situation no longer enables us to maintain the joint faction called Likud-Beiteinu.”
Lieberman said his party would remain part of Israel’s governing coalition.
“[Netanyahu] is entitled to his opinions and I’m entitled to mine, just as everyone else in the coalition has the right to their own opinions,” he said. “This is a strong coalition and it will carry on.”