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Report: Gantz, Lapid to invite Likud to form 'Zionist national unity government'

Former Israeli chief of staff Benny Gantz (C) delivers his first electoral speech in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on 29 January 2019. [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]
Benny Gantz, former Israeli military chief of staff and presidential candidate in Tel Aviv on 29 January 2019 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

 The Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid intend to invite Likud to join a "Zionist national unity government", the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday, citing party sources.

"Lapid had told confidants prior to his merger with Gantz that he was counting on building a government with Likud under him," the paper stated. "His theory was that once Netanyahu loses the election, those running to succeed him would want to get experience in senior portfolios." 

This morning, Kan further revealed a recording of a closed-door event of Lapid in Karmiel yesterday in which he confirmed the Post's report.   

READ: Racism, radicalism and incitement fuel Israel's election campaign 

"We will turn to the Likud that is after Netanyahu," Lapid said, "We will turn to Likud to form a national unity government that will reflect the values of unity, that will be wide and will be able to accomplish many things. The call to Likud will be the first call. Netanyahu will not stay if he loses."

 "The Likud is an important Zionist party with important people," Lapid added.

The Jerusalem Post also pointed to remarks made by former army chief Gantz in a speech last week, when he said: "Our ruling party will form a unity government that will be nationalist and Zionist."

 United Torah Judaism, Shas, the New Right, Yisrael Beitenu, the Union of Right-wing Parties, Hadash-Ta'al and United Arab List-Balad have all ruled out joining a coalition led by Gantz and Lapid.

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