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Likud promises peaceful transition of power, again accuses Bennett of fraud

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party on Thursday issued a clarification of the premier’s claims of “election fraud” in Israel that made international headlines and drew comparisons to former US president Donald Trump.

In an English tweet thread retweeted by the premier, the party for the first time said that Netanyahu is committed to a “peaceful transition of power.”

However, his office has refused to state whether the prime minister will be attending the traditional handover ceremony of the premiership on Monday, and a transitional briefing with incoming premier Naftali Bennett has not yet been scheduled, with the government swear-in less than three days away.

Bennett is set to become prime minister after he reached a coalition deal with opposition leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party and a wide array of parties aligned against Netanyahu, ranging from the dovish Meretz to the pro-annexation New Hope and the Islamist party Ra’am. Under the agreement, Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years before handing the office to Lapid for the remainder of the term.

On Sunday, Netanyahu told a Likud faction meeting, “We are witnesses to the greatest election fraud in the history of the country and in my opinion, the history of democracies.”

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