Gantz, Netanyahu Haggle on Forming New Israeli Govt

Published October 28th, 2019 - 01:42 GMT
Benny Gantz (Twitter)
Benny Gantz (Twitter)
He offered a compromise proposal to form a “national unity government.”

Prime Minister-designate Benny Gantz has launched efforts to form a new government by holding a meeting with Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to political sources, Gantz told Netanyahu he would exert maximum effort to form a unity government with him, requesting cooperation from him in this regard.

He offered a compromise proposal to form a “national unity government.”

This includes a concession by Gantz on his pledges to his voters not to be a partner in a Netanyahu-led government provided that Netanyahu stops negotiating with him on behalf of the right-wing and religious party bloc. But Netanyahu refused.

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On Sunday, Netanyahu called for forming an expanded unity government to face security challenges in the Middle East.

“Iran controls several areas in the Middle East, and this issue requires tough decisions,” he said during the cabinet session, ahead of his meeting with Gantz.

“We need to make tough decisions that require a broad-shouldered government. This is a top security issue.”

Citing recent warnings by Israeli Army Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, he said Israel is facing a threat of conflict in both the north and south, forcing the military to rapidly prepare for war.

“The possibility of conflict necessitated the swift formation of a broad unity government to respond to security threats.”

Meanwhile, a negotiation session was held between Kahol Lavan’s delegation, led by Yoram Turbowicz, and Likud’s negotiators, led by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.

Both sides said no progress had been made, but they would meet again in the coming days.

The two main disagreements are who should serve as prime minister first in a rotation government, and whether Likud would break its alliance with religious, right-wing parties in order to establish the "broad, liberal, unity government" as desired by Kahol Lavan.

The two sides have agreed on the dates of several other meetings, which will be held in the coming days, during which they will discuss each party’s proposals for the working program of the unity government and the outlines it seeks.

Likud sources said Levin warned during the meeting that Gantz would form a minority government based on the support of Arab parties.

He said that it would be “dangerous for Israel,” adding that Lavan representatives refused to pledge not to form such a government.

Another meeting took place between Lavan and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu’s delegations.

This article has been adapted from its original source.    

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