Will Israel's Netanyahu Really Quit Office in 2021?

Published March 22nd, 2020 - 07:35 GMT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a speech at his Jerusalem office on March 14, 2020, regarding the new measures that will be taken to fight the Corona virus in Israel. Netanyahu said Israel would shut down eateries, shopping centres and gyms in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. AFP/File
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a speech at his Jerusalem office on March 14, 2020, regarding the new measures that will be taken to fight the Corona virus in Israel. Netanyahu said Israel would shut down eateries, shopping centres and gyms in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. AFP/File
Highlights
The premier offers to form a three-year 'emergency' government with rival party

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is ready to step down next year as part of a proposed power-sharing agreement with his chief rival Benny Gantz.

The move is intended to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis and end a year-long political deadlock.

Mr Netanyahu made his proposal during a television interview, calling for the formation of a three-year 'emergency' unity government with the rival Blue and White Party.

He told Channel 12 TV that he would remain as prime minister for the first year and a half, and allow Blue and White leader Mr Gantz to assume the post for a second year-and-a-half term in September 2021.


The prime minister said each party would have an equal number of seats in the cabinet.

Mr Netanyahu said: 'I will give up the prime minister's post in another year and a half.'

But Yair Lapid, a senior Blue and White leader, dismissed Mr Netanyahu's unity offer as insincere.


Israel has detected nearly 900 cases and reported its first death on Friday.

With the public largely confined to their homes, the economy appears to be in great danger, with tens of thousands of people losing their jobs. 

Israel this month held its third inconclusive election in under a year. Mr Netanyahu's Likud emerged as the largest single party, but fell short of securing a required parliamentary majority. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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