Netanyahu Urges Coalition with Gantz, But Denied

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Benny Gantz (left), leader of the Blue and White party. (Photo: GPO)

Jerusalem, MINA – It is impossible for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead the Likud Party to form a right-wing government, making him urge Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party, to form a coalition of “unity government”.

However, Blue and White rejected the offer and called it “a headache,” the Times of Israel reported.

Meanwhile, leaders from all parties in the right-wing religious bloc on Thursday, September 19 signed a document promising to recommend Netanyahu as the next prime minister. They promised to enter the coalition as single unit.

The document was signed at a meeting of right-wing party heads on Thursday morning. It was done after Netanyahu press conference on Wednesday.

Netanyahu announced his request for a united front to Gantz towards a “secular” unity government with Likud, without an ultra-Orthodox and religious party.

Although it is not enough to form its own coalition, Netanyahu hopes that President Reuven Rivlin will treat the 55-seat Netanyahu coalition as one party and agree to assign him to form the next government.

Netanyahu urged Gantz to meet with him in a one-on-one meeting on Thursday at any time to form a coalition at the end of day.

Almost all ballots have been counted, the Orthodox or right wing block led by Netanyahu has 55 seats, the middle or left block led by Gantz has 44, and Yisrael Beytenu led by Avigdor Lieberman holds eight seats.

Palestinian party alliance, the Arab Joint List, which has not said whether it will actively support Gantz, has 13 seats.

“During the election I called for the formation of a right-wing government,” Netanyahu said in a statement Thursday morning.

“But, I’m sorry, the election results show it’s impossible. People do not choose exactly between the two blocks, therefore there is no choice but to establish a broad unity government, as wide as possible, consisting of elements which hold the State of Israel well,” he added. (T/Sj/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)