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Israel: Netanyahu reappoints Gantz as justice minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate PM and Defence Minister Benny Gantz attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on 7 June 2020. [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on 7 June 2020 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reappointed Blue and White leader Benny Gantz as justice minister in the current caretaker government, local media reported yesterday.

On Tuesday night, the Israeli High Court froze Netanyahu's attempt to appoint the Likud member and Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis as justice minister.

Netanyahu stated in a statement that his agreement to appoint Gantz was a way "out of the deadlock", even though he thought he could defend his legal position.

In the statement, which was reported by the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu said he had detailed legal arguments to counter those of the High Court and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, who said that his proposal to appoint Akunis was a violation of the law.

The position of justice minister has been vacant for four weeks. Gantz previously held the post on a temporary basis for three months which ended at the start of April, and Netanyahu did not want to leave the ministry in the hands of his power-sharing partner Blue and White.

"We followed through on our pledge to stop Bibi's plan, and will continue to protect democracy," Blue and White said in a statement yesterday afternoon according to the Jerusalem Post.

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