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Netanyahu and Gantz meet to discuss unity government

Blue and White alliance leader and former Israeli chief of staff, Benny Gantz on 18 February 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Blue and White alliance leader and former Israeli chief of staff, Benny Gantz on 18 February 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The leaders of Likud and the Blue and White party, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz respectively, met on Wednesday night to discuss the formation of a unity government but were apparently unable to reach any agreement on the issue.

Prior to the meeting Israeli media reported that there was a primary understanding within Blue and White to agree to govern with Likud based on the rotation of the post of prime minister. However, the bloc wants a one-year rotation cycle for Netanyahu and three years for Gantz, rather than Likud's preferred two years for each candidate. Moreover, according to the Times of Israel, Blue and White demanded several top ministries, including foreign affairs, justice, public security and culture.

Talks between the two parties failed after the two elections last year because of Gantz's refusal to accept a rotation of the prime minister.

The former general has insisted frequently that he will not sit in government with Netanyahu because of the criminal indictments against the Likud leader, but he seems to have softened his stance in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

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