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Israel: Another Blue and White MK opposes minority government reliant on Joint List

MK Omer Yankelevich, member of Blue and White party, 10 April 2019 [Kimrey Rhinehardt/Twitter]
MK Omer Yankelevich, member of the Blue and White party, 10 April 2019 [Kimrey Rhinehardt/Twitter]

Another Blue and White parliamentarian has reportedly expressed opposition to the formation of a minority government supported from the outside by the Arab-dominated Joint List.

According to the Times of Israel, citing reports by Channel 12, MK Omer Yankelevich has informed Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) chair Benny Gantz of her position.

Yankelevich now joins fellow Blue and White members Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser – both from the Moshe Ya'alon-led Telem faction – in opposing such a minority government, and supporting a unity government as "the best and only route the party should pursue", the report added.

The Times of Israel noted that Blue and White officials told Channel 12 "they were aware of Yankelevich's positions, but that she would vote according to the leadership's decisions".

Earlier this week, Israeli media reported that Blue and White MKs Chili Tropper, Asaf Zamir, as well as Gabi Ashkenazi, "oppose the minority coalition move", even if they haven't "expressed their feelings publicly".

READ: Plurality of Israelis back unity government but expect fourth election

Gantz's problems are compounded by opposition from outside his party, with Labor-Gesher-Meretz MK Orly Levy-Abekasis also opposing a minority government relying on external support from the Joint List.

While Gantz has said he is open to a unity government with Likud, he claimed yesterday that Benjamin Netanyahu "has not demonstrated seriousness in negotiating such a result".

Blue and White's number three, MK Moshe Ya'alon, tweeted yesterday that his party "will establish as broad an emergency government as possible, even if we start with a narrow government, to save the country. We won't allow Netanyahu to turn Israel into a dictatorship."

The latter remark was a reference to measures enacted by Israeli authorities to use technological tracking of citizens who have contracted coronavirus.

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