Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the dawn of Tuesday gave outgoing right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival, leader of the centrist “Blue-White” coalition, Benny Gantz, a 48-hour deadline to form a national “unity” government, according to what the presidency announced at dawn Tuesday.
Minutes after the constitutionally-set deadline for Gantz to form a government coalition in the zero minute of Tuesday dawn (21:00 GMT Monday), Rufflin issued a statement announcing his approval of a joint request submitted by Netanyahu and Gantz to give them a deadline of Thursday to reach an agreement to form a unity government Patriotism ends the longest political crisis in the history of Israel.
In a meeting issued after talks in Jerusalem on Monday night, Netanyahu and Gantz said, “In the meeting held this evening between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and blue-white leader Benny Gantz, significant progress has been made towards forming a national emergency government”.
The two parties agreed to meet again Tuesday morning, in the presence of the negotiating teams.
Gantz, the former chief of staff who was surprisingly elected last March as Speaker of the Knesset, appealed to Netanyahu in a televised speech on Monday evening to put their differences aside and form a government of national unity that would put an end to the political crisis in which the Jewish state floundered and helped to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing his political rival, Gantz said, “Netanyahu, we have reached the moment of truth…
The Israelis expect us to put our differences aside and work together for them…
History will not forgive us if we do not succeed”.
“The emergency situation forced me to abandon my commitment not to participate in a government led by Netanyahu,” Gantz said, as the Jewish state tries to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gantz, the former chief of staff, and Netanyahu, the prime minister, for the longest time in Israel’s history, ran three elections in less than a year, all of which resulted in the dispersal of the Knesset.
Neither of them was able to obtain sufficient support in the Knesset to form a new government.
After the last elections that took place on the second of March, Rivlin entrusted Gantz with the task of forming a government, but the constitutional deadline for doing so ended Tuesday morning.
Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud party, is the first prime minister to face charges of corruption while in office, but he denies all charges and considers them a campaign led by his opponents against him.
On Sunday, Rivlin had rejected a request by Gantz to give him more time to form a government.
Israel has counted 11,600,000 new infections, including 116 deaths.