On Thursday, the Blue and White party headed by Benny Gantz reportedly split following news that the party’s head might be joining forces with his long-lasting political rival Benjamin Netanyahu, with the two possibly taking it in turns to be prime minister.
Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party has signaled a possible deal with Prime Minister Benjamin to form a national unity government, the Times of Israel reported.
“These are unusual times and they call for unusual decisions”, Gantz reportedly told the Knesset on Thursday, as cited by AFP. “That is why I intend to explore the formation of an emergency unity government”.
On Thursday, Gantz was elected as the speaker of the Israeli Knesset which suggested the start of a partnership between the two rival politicians.
According to reports of a negotiated deal, the two politicians might share the rotating prime minister position, with Gantz occupying the Knesset speaker position and then post of foreign minister until September 2021, after which he will take over from Netanyahu as prime minister.
An agreement in question between the two rival politicians was reportedly rejected by Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party and an important figure in the Blue and White alliance. Lapid’s party is now expected to head into opposition, while Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party party forming B&W is seen as joining forces with Netanyahu, effectively signalling the end of the alliance.
Meanwhile, another party comprising the alliance, Telem, headed by Bogie Ya’alon, has also been reportedly divided by the development, further aggravating the uncertainty over the future of the B&W.
“Gantz chose Netanyahu over Lapid”, one of the reports on the Israeli Channel 12 said.
Gantz’s negotiated move has reportedly been met with surprise among his allies as Yesh Atid’s Meir Cohen had been expected to get the Knesset speaker position until the very last minute, the Times of Israel revealed.