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Israel delays swearing in new unity government

A general overview of a meeting held in Knesset, Israel on October 3, 2019 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
A general overview of a meeting held in the Israeli Knesset on 3 October 2019 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images]

The planned inauguration of Israel's new unity government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been postponed until Sunday due to a dispute over the allocation of ministries, according to the BBC.

"Prime minister Netanyahu asked Gantz to postpone the swearing-in ceremony until Sunday so as to enable him to finalise ministerial appointments within Likud," read a joint statement released by Likud and Gantz's Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party.

"Gantz agreed to Netanyahu's request," it added.

Under a coalition deal with his former election rival, Benny Gantz, Netanyahu would serve as prime minister for 18 months before the head of Blue and White party would take over the post.

READ: Israel's Netanyahu will be victorious after all this political mayhem

Blue and White had initially opposed the postponement, with Gantz insisting the swearing-in take place at all costs, according to Haaretz.

Meanwhile, leaders from various parties have been battling over ministerial positions.

Likud is set to take the finance, education and health ministries, while the country's foreign and justice portfolios have been given to Blue and White.

Israeli media reported that many key Likud lawmakers were upset by the decisions made, and some had even revolted saying they would boycott the swearing-in ceremony.

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