Netanyahu’s reported pushback comes as his rivals formed a historic coalition agreement to end his 12-year rule this week.
The latest political maneuvering began just hours after opposition leader Yair Lapid and his main coalition partner, Naftali Bennett, declared they had reached a deal to form a new government and muster a majority in the 120-member Knesset, or parliament.
Netanyahu also asked allies to spread the idea that Bennett, the prime minister-designate, would not be tough enough to withstand U.S. pressure on the Palestinian issue, Ha riferito Axios, citando fonti.
He reportedly told his pro-settlement allies that Bennett would likely give in to the Biden administration’s demands if it asked Israel to stop construction on settlements in the West Bank.
Netanyahu also suggested Bennett was too weak to risk tensions with Biden over keeping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.