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Israeli opposition leader calls for fresh elections during Gaza conflict

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on Sunday called for fresh elections amid the ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu cannot continue as prime minister,” Lapid told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. “Elections can be held during the war.”

This was the first time for an Israeli opposition leader to call for holding fresh elections during the attacks in the besieged enclave.

The call came amid growing criticism of Netanyahu over his failure to acknowledge responsibility for a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

A recent opinion poll by the Lazar Research Institute for Israeli daily Maariv found that only 27% of Israelis believe that Netanyahu is the right person to run the government.

The survey found that 49% of Israelis, or about half, believe that Benny Gantz, leader of the National Unity Party, is the best figure to lead the country’s government.

Many Israelis expect that post-war investigations into the Hamas attack will spell the end of Netanyahu's political career.

Netanyahu was elected prime minister in late 2022.

There was no comment from Netanyahu on Lapid’s statements.

Israel has launched air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the Hamas attack, killing at least 18,800 Palestinians, mostly children and women and injuring 51,000 others, according to health authorities in the seaside enclave.

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