JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a dramatic move designed to establish a government in Israel after three unresolved elections over the past year, Benny Gantz’s faction in Blue-And-White has agreed to form a unity government together with the Likud and the right-wing parties in which Netanyahu will serve as prime minister until 2021 and Benny Gantz will then take over as prime minister. The other factions in Blue-And-White, comprising Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem party, have split off from Blue-And-White and will join the opposition.
The new developments come in the wake of one of the stormiest weeks in Israeli politics for decades, this despite the coronavirus spike in Israel and the huge economic problems facing the Israeli economy in the wake of the strict lockdown on Israel in recent weeks. The Supreme Court advised Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to convene a session to appoint a new speaker to replace him in accordance with Blue-And-White’s demand. Edelstein refused and the court then issued an order to him. Edelstein, stung by the intervention of the judiciary in the work of the Knesset, resigned, leaving his resignation to take effect in 48 hours and thus preventing a new speaker being appointed.
The court then forced the appointment of a caretaker speaker but in the meantime negotiations between Blue-And-White and the Likud reached significant breakthroughs, allowing for the formation of a direly needed government. Benny Gantz’s Strength For Israel faction joined up with the right-wing bloc and he agreed to allow Netanyahu to continue as prime minister until 2021 when he will take over as prime minister. Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon announced that they would not serve under Netanyahu and left Blue-And-White, leaving Gantz and his 15 MKs with the 58-member right-wing bloc.
In the meantime Gantz himself has been appointed caretaker speaker of the Knesset, allowing the negotiations with the Likud to continue until final details are hammered out.