Israel’s Netanyahu and rival Gantz agree to form ‘emergency’ coalition government

Israel’s Netanyahu and rival Gantz agree to form ‘emergency’ coalition government

Israel’s Netanyahu and rival Gantz agree to form ‘emergency’ coalition government

He denies any wrongdoing.

Details: According to the coalition deal, both Netanyahu and Gantz will be sworn in together as prime minister and prime minister designate. "There is a national emergency government". Israeli media put the figure at about 2,000 people.

The final agreement dovetails with most of Netanyahu's demands, including with regard to the annexation of parts of the West Bank, a process that it says can begin in July 2020.

It will also have to be signed by Likud's right-wing religious partners before being voted on in the Knesset.

The agreement will be officially signed after Independence Day next week. Netanyahu tweeted a picture of Israel's blue and white flag.

Netanyahu and Gantz have made several attempts to reach an agreement on a coalition government after each round of elections but their efforts were not enough to end the political deadlock in the country.

So far, Israel has reported more than 13,000 Covid-19 cases and at least 170 deaths.

A partial lockdown has confined most Israelis to their homes, forced businesses to close and sent unemployment to about 26 per cent.

During three bitter campaigns over the past year, Gantz and his Blue and White party vowed never to serve in a government under Netanyahu so long as he faces a slew of corruption charges.

Netanyahu is desperate to remain in office throughout the trial, using his position to lash out at his enemies and rally public opposition to his prosecutors.

"Our good results enable us today to start taking steps in the opposite direction - not a tightening, but an easing", the PM said in a televised speech Saturday. "If you're inside, you're part of it", Lapid said.

One main bone of contention in the talks was the makeup and mechanics of the Judicial Appointments Committee, which installs judges, with Netanyahu - who has been indicted on multiple counts of corruption, including bribery - demanding veto power over nominations.

Even Amir Peretz, the head of Israel's founding Labor Party, the party Rabin led into the Oslo Accords that cost him his life, and which has been decimated in all three recent elections, chose to join the Netanyahu-Gantz unity government, obliterating whatever was left of its reputation as an alternative to the Likud and a champion of peace.

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