RAMALLAH, Palestine 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to save himself at the cost of Palestinian blood, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

Netanyahu tried to prevent political opponents from forming a government by escalating tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the ministry said in a statement.

“Netanyahu and his team have been relying on the spiral of bloody violence since 2009 to defend the stronghold of the right and the radical right in the occupying state,” it said. “Netanyahu is doing all this to free himself from the guilty seat in court at the cost of Palestinian blood and the future of Palestinian generations.”

Barring a last-minute surprise, Israel’s opposition coalition is likely to get 61 votes it needs to win the confidence of the 120-member Knesset, or parliament, on Sunday.

The opposition coalition is comprised of three right-wing parties: Yamina, headed by Naftali Bennett, and Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party with six seats each. And Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman with seven seats.

Three centrist parties are also part of the “change” bloc. They include the There is a Future party headed by Yair Lapid with 17 seats, the Blue and White party headed by Benny Gantz with eight seats, and the Labor Party headed by Merav Michaeli with seven seats.

In addition, one left-wing party, Meretz, headed by Nitzan Horowitz with six seats, completes the bloc.

The coalition also enjoys the support of the United Arab List headed by Mansour Abbas, with four seats.

If the coalition wins the Knesset’s confidence, Bennett and Lapid will take turns occupying the premiership, with each leading for two years of the four-year term.

*Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak

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