With Israeli PM Netanyahu on the verge of stepping down from power, the White House hinted that Israel would continue to be an important partner in the Middle East.

After being questioned about the future of the relationship between Israel and the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged that the Jewish state would remain a “strategic” partner in the Middle East. The question came amid Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pending removal from office now that his opponents have formed a coalition government, bringing the PM’s 12-year run to a conclusion.

The press secretary said, “Israel will remain an important strategic partner, one where you have an abiding security relationship, and that will continue.”

Netanyahu issued a stern warning following the announcement of this new coalition government headed by Naftali Bennett, calling it “dangerous” and “left-wing”. He added, “All legislators elected by votes from the right must oppose this dangerous left-wing government.”

Failing to recognize that over 4,000 rockets were recently launched from Gaza towards Israel, Bennett said regarding the conflict with the Palestinians, “My thinking in this context is to shrink the conflict. We will not resolve it. But wherever we can improve conditions – more crossing points, more quality of life, more business, more industry – we will do so.”

Others, too, have voiced concern over the security of the nation amid Netanyahu’s departure.