Israel.. Gantz declares his acceptance of conditions set by Lieberman to join any government coalition and calls on him to move forward

Benny Gantz, leader of the Israeli “Blue-White” coalition, announced on Sunday his approval of the terms of Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the “Israel Our Home” party to join any prospective government coalition.

Earlier on Sunday, Lieberman published, through a Facebook post, five conditions for joining a future government coalition, related to religious and social affairs.

Two hours before the post, Gantz said on Facebook, accompanying his post on Lieberman’s terms, “Ok, we have to move forward.”

In addition, Lieberman stipulated, “The introduction of at least 70 percent of the minimum wage into the economy for all retirees who live on income security and old-age pensions.”

As for his second condition, it is to “transfer the powers of public transportation and open business on Saturdays to local authorities.”

Lieberman also called for the enactment of a law to recruit religious school students (Yeshiva) as approved by a first reading in July 2018.

Lieberman also required the enactment of a civil marriage law in Israel.

Lieberman’s fifth and final clause focused on conducting the process of Judaization by city rabbis, so that each city could establish a court dedicated to the issue of Judaization.

On Thursday, the Central Elections Committee of Israel announced in unofficial results of the elections that took place on Monday, that the Likud party led by outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won 36 seats, compared to 33 seats for the “blue-white” party led by Gantz.

According to the committee’s data, the right-wing camps (58 seats) and the left-wing camp (55 seats) will not be able to form a government, because forming a government requires a coalition of 61 seats.

According to observers, Lieberman, whose party won “7” seats in the elections, is the key to resolving the ongoing political crisis in Israel since last year, as it can tip one of the two camps to form a government.

However, Lieberman is unlikely to join a right wing government led by Netanyahu in light of disagreements with the latter’s religious parties, on issues related to religion and the state.

Meanwhile, lawyers for outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, asked the court to postpone his trial in “corruption cases” until early May.

This request comes amid fears that the trial sessions will affect Netanyahu’s chances in forming the next government, as the first sessions begin on March 17, a day after members of the new Knesset (parliament) were sworn in.

The Hebrew newspaper “Israel Hume” said that the lawyers “said in their request to the court that they did not receive all the materials for investigating the cases accused by Netanyahu from the Public Prosecutor’s Office as required.”

According to the same source, the court is likely to accept a delay in the start of the trial, on the grounds that lawyers have not received the investigation materials.

For its part, the Hebrew newspaper “Maariv” quoted a lawyer, Amit Haddad, as saying: “A few months ago, they filed an indictment against the prime minister Netanyahu, but until now we have not received the materials.”

He continued, “Therefore, we went to the court with a technical request to postpone the date of the session until we first obtain the investigation material.”

Last January, the Israeli government’s legal advisor, Avichai Mendelblit, filed an indictment against Netanyahu, on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three corruption cases.

It is scheduled during the first session of the trial of Netanyahu to recite the indictment submitted against him, and he must, according to the law, appear and sit on the accused seat, according to “Maariv”.