The leader of a far-right Israeli political party on Sunday declared he would join with a centrist faction in a new unity government that could spell the end of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year grip on power.
Naftali Bennett, who leads the ultra-nationalist Yamina Party, said he was convinced that only alliance with centrists and left wing parties would save the nation.
Bennett:"I am announcing today that it is my intention to work with all my strength to establish a national unity government together with my friend Yair Lapid. So that, God willing, together we can rescue the country from its tailspin and return it on its path."
Centrist Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party finished second to Netanyahu's right-wing Likud in the latest inconclusive parliamentary elections. Lapid has worked to cobble together a potentially volatile coalition. A power-sharing deal would see Bennett and Lapid take turns as prime minister.
Israel has held four elections in the past two years, none of which delivered a clear winner and left Netanyahu in office as head of a caretaker government.
Bennett was seen as something of a kingmaker between Netanyahu's push for a right-wing coalition and Lapid seeking a national unity government.
On Sunday he said he made the best choice for his country.
Bennett: There is no right-wing government. Four rounds of elections and (the past) two months proved to us all that there simply is not a right-wing government to be led by Netanyahu. It's either a fifth election or a unity government."
Netanyahu responded on television, calling the proposed coalition a "left wing government" and "a danger to Israel's security and future."