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Israel: Lieberman to meet with Gantz and Rivlin as coalition talks continue 

November 13, 2019 at 10:40 am

The then Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on 24 December, 2014 in Tel Aviv [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

Against the backdrop of repeated Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip and projectile fire from Palestinian factions, Yisrael Beiteinu chair Avigdor Lieberman will meet with Blue and White’s Benny Gantz and President Reuven Rivlin to continue coalition talks.

According to a report by the Jerusalem Post, Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) “insiders” think that Lieberman “will try to convince Gantz” to follow Rivlin’s proposal, “which involves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking a forced sabbatical if he is indicted”.

Analysts believe the “current deliberations seem to indicate that Gantz will answer positively”, but still “demand clarifications” from Lieberman regarding terms, such as “when exactly Netanyahu will resign if he is indicted and what are the guarantees that he will indeed resign in favour of Gantz”.

READ: Lieberman presents outline of unity government

Lieberman is also scheduled to meet with Rivlin today, described by the Jerusalem Post as “a meeting of great significance” for the former defence minister because of the “uncertainty present in the political system regarding resignation, as it is laid out in the presidential proposal”.

There is now only a week left until Gantz’s mandate to form a government expires, with no obvious way out of the political paralysis.

While there had been suggestions that Blue and White could form a minority government with the support of the Arab-majority Joint List from outside a formal coalition, to the extent this was ever possible it is now deemed off the table following Joint List criticism of Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza.

A source at Blue and White told the paper that when the Joint List criticises the military “for taking down a mass-terrorist in the Gaza Strip, there is no scenario for establishing a minority government”.