The Likud is “careful to attack” Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid, but not party leader Benny Gantz, Yamina Party leader said on Monday, indicating that Likud is planning on a coalition deal with Blue and White after the Sept. 17 election.”

Speaking at an economic conference in Tel Aviv, Shaked said, “It’s clear that they’re [the Likud] preparing the ground to bring Gantz into a Netanyahu government.”

However, “Benny Gantz will not be prime minister,” she continued. “We will recommend [that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu [form a government], and I hope he will form a government with us. History has proven that he first talks with the left-wing parties.”

On Sunday, Shaked called on Netanyahu to focus on enlarging the size of the right-wing bloc, instead of attacking his “natural partners.”

On Friday, she claimed it was Netanyahu’s attacks on the New Right that caused the right-wing bloc to lose its majority in April’s elections, leading to new elections, saying: “I call on Netanyahu to immediately cease his campaign against Yamina, and to focus on enlarging the bloc. Netanyahu’s attacks on us in the previous elections prevented the right-wing bloc from having a 61-seat majority. Netanyahu: Don’t repeat the same mistake.”

Turning to accusations that Netanyahu is harming Israeli democracy with his attacks on the country’s legal system and media, Shaked, formerly Israel’s justice minister, said Israel was “part of an exclusive club of 21 countries that were founded as democracies. We have a strong legal system and free media, so any cries to the contrary are excessive.”

Regarding Netanyahu’s recent call to boycott Israel’s Channel 12 TV, which has published leaks from the ongoing legal cases against him, Shaked said simply that the prime minister “is conducting a campaign. The attack on Channel 12 is part of that campaign.”

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