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Details of draft deal between Likud, Blue and White revealed by Israel TV

A man casts his vote during the Israeli general elections in Tel Aviv on 9 April 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]
A man casts his vote during the Israeli general elections in Tel Aviv on 9 April 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

The details of a purported draft deal between Likud and Blue and White for a unity government have been revealed by Israel’s Channel 13, reported the Times of Israel.

The development comes with only a week left until Israel will be forced to head to a third election in under a year, and as talks between Likud and Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) show no obvious sign of breakthrough.

According to Channel 13, both parties “agreed in principle” to a premiership rotation deal between Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “in which Netanyahu would go first but serve for only a few months before taking a leave of absence” to deal with his corruption charges.

Both parties also reportedly agree “that this rotation would somehow be anchored in new legislation before a government is formed”, that is, the Times of Israel described, “that sometime in the coming eight days, the Knesset would manage to amend Israel’s basic laws on elections and government powers in order to ensure that the agreement would have to be respected by all sides”.

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The report also suggested that Likud and Blue and White agreed Israel would formally annex the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank under the new government.

Channel 13 reported that the sides agreed Blue and White “would effectively control defence and foreign policy, with the party’s No. 2 Yair Lapid serving as foreign minister and No. 4 Gabi Ashkenazi (like Gantz, a former chief of the army) as defence minister”.

Blue and White would also get the Interior Ministry, “which has authority over many religion-and-state and municipal governance issues that are a point of contention between Haredi backers of Netanyahu and the secularist Yesh Atid faction within Blue and White”, the Times of Israel added.

Overall, “the new government would also include over 30 ministers, with ministries divided equally between the two parties,” the report claimed.

However, with serious disagreements remaining, and mistrust between the parties high, most analysts still anticipate the most likely outcome to be a third election.

READ: Israel’s president does not want coalition government with Arabs

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