Lapid formally invites Netanyahu for security meeting
Netanyahu has previously said he is only ready to hear from Lapid's military secretary.
On Sunday, Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid formally invited opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu to a regular security briefing, as the two remained at odds over the matter.
In the letter, Lapid wrote “In accordance with Knesset Law, I would like to invite you as soon as possible to a status update meeting on the national affairs on the agenda,”
According to Israeli Channel 12's political commentator, Amnon Abramovich, the current way of holding elections is "practically breaking 'Israel' apart one step at a time."
During a phone chat with the opposition leader, Lapid summoned Netanyahu to a security briefing alongside the prime minister's military secretary, Avi Gil.
According to Netanyahu's spokesperson, the opposition leader answered that he wanted the legally obligatory security briefings from Lapid's military secretary, but without Lapid there, "to prevent the security briefing from turning into a political tool ahead of elections."
Netanyahu's evident worry is that he not be seen, and potentially photographed, being informed by the prime minister he is attempting to depose in the November 1 elections, "Israel's" sixth national ballot since 2019, following the breakdown of the eight-party coalition led by Yamina leader Naftali Bennett.
Bennett has taken on the job of alternate prime minister, which Lapid formerly held as part of their power-sharing deal.
While the opposition leader is obligated by law to get security reports from the prime minister, Netanyahu has repeatedly refused to comply with the routine over the last year, arguing that Bennett's legitimacy as premier is questionable.
Instead, he got information from Bennett's military secretary, Avi Gil, while avoiding being photographed while receiving a briefing from his political opponent.
Netanyahu's call to Lapid on Friday was the first public contact between the two since the latter took over as PM hours earlier, entrusted with guiding the Israeli regime through the elections and until a new government is formed.
Netanyahu told Lapid that he hoped the prime minister's four-month pre-election period would be distinguished by "security quiet," but warned him that his political opponents would not be the ones offering calm in the run-up to the November 1 poll.
Lapid officially became prime minister between Thursday and Friday, and whereas Netanyahu referred to Lapid as "interim prime minister", Lapid refers to himself as simply prime minister in the office readout.
During his first speech, Lapid took a dig at Netanyahu, who breached a power-sharing arrangement with Security Minister Benny Gantz in 2020 and only conducted a 30-minute transition meeting with Bennett last year.