Israel : Unity Government in Gestation

This follows an agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz.

The leader of the Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu and that of the Blue and White Benny Gantz have agreed to form a unity government. The agreement which comes on the heels of the surprise election of Benny Gantz as speaker of Parliament (Knesset) on Thursday, March 26, 2020 puts an end to a year-long political impasse which has seen no duly-elected government in Israel since December 2018, due to an unprecedented three inconclusive elections in 11 months.
According to media reports, the agreement stipulates that, Netanyahu would continue to serve as Prime Minister for the next 18 months before handing over the reins to Gantz (in September 2021), who before then had left the post of President of Parliament to serve as Foreign Minister. Other details of the deal being discussed include, the Blue and White member and former IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi replacing Naftali Bennett of the Yamina party as Defence Minister, and Gantz loyalist Yehiel “Hili” Tropper to serve as Justice Minister in the place of Likud’s Amir Ohana.
The march towards a national unity government began on March 12, 2020 when Netanyahu called for the formation of unity government in order to meet the challenge of the emerging coronavirus crisis. The Blue and White party had insisted that it would never join a government led by a prime minister under indictment. Netanyahu is currently facing trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, although his case, like all court matters, has been postponed due to restrictions on gatherings imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus.
For several months, the party of Benny Gantz (Blue and White) stated goal had been to push through legislation aimed at preventing someone under indictment from being asked to form a government or serve as Prime Minister. This would have taken effect after the next election, but after three elections in a year, a fourth election in September looked highly possible. For now, with little luck, Israel might soon have a unity government that will be able to pass 



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