"Netanyahu lost control of his strategy, he knows that the end is on the way," former prime minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio Wednesday morning during an interview regarding the current political climate.
Ehud Barak, the former leader of the Labor party who served as Minister of Defense and as Deputy Prime Minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's former coalition from 2009-2013, elaborated on Netanyahu's predicament.
According to Barak: "I think the elections will be in October. Netanyahu will have an interest in early elections...even his partners have lost faith." Amid the recent corruption allegations, Netanyahu finds himself in a precarious situation, one that Barak said he believes will develop into an imminent end.
With the diversion of a coalition collapse, Barak's predictions hinge on the decision of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on whether to indict him on corruption charges.
This comes after Netanyahu and his coalition partners agreed on a deal on Tuesday to resolve a coalition crisis.
Sources close to the prime minister said he decided against pursuing an election because of two key developments. First, he failed to obtain the support of enough MKs for a June election, with only Yesh Atid, Meretz and part of the Zionist Union joining most of Likud. Netanyahu had wanted an election that would be as close as possible to spring celebrations of the state’s 70th birthday and as far away as possible from Mandelblit’s decision on an indictment.
The second reason was that a Channel 2 poll found that 54% of Israelis oppose an early election which would open the door of opportunity to different parties to take the Knesset.
The passage of the opposition’s bills to disperse the Knesset, a controversial haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription bill passed in its first reading, and the 2019 state budget was set to pass into law in its final readings on Tuesday night.
The final written part of the deal is that the coalition will support the Likud-sponsored Nation-State bill and advance its legislation after the budget passes. But the deal also reportedly includes quiet commitments from United Torah Judaism to not submit more bills on matters of religion and state, and from all coalition parties to not topple the government in the near future.
The current political situation and Netanyahu's future depends on the verdict of Attorney-General Mandelblit to avoid Ehud Barak's prophecy of Netanyahu's end.
Gil Hoffman and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.