Last week Benny Gantz and his negotiating team began meeting with party’s and their leaders as Gantz attempts to form a government.
Gantz met with Benjamin Netanyahu to form a framework for a unity government, so far there is no breakthrough in this matter. Gantz and Netanyahu are expected to meet again while the party’s negotiating teams have met – again with no breakthrough. Netanyahu’s 55 seat bloc and the Prime Minster rotation agreements remain the main hurdles.
Likud continues to say that Gantz is not seeking a unity government with them but is trying to form a minority government supported by The Joint List.
Blue and White MK’s are divided over this suggestion. Several MKs are for it while others are not and as the party leaders have not all ruled out this idea and are were vague on their stance to party MKs there is growing unrest within the party over this.
Avigdor Liberman, leader of Yisrael Beiteinu (8), has ruled out joining a minority government supported by the Arabs and once again called for a unity government.
Blue and White reportedly offered Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked the Defense and Justice portfolios if they joined a Gantz lead government. Netanyahu responded by offering Bennet the Defense ministry in his government. Blue and White have denied this report.
Additionally, Bennet has said that if Hayamin Hechadash’s (New Right’s) agreements with Likud are preventing the establishment of a Unity Government then they should be annulled.
Gantz and his Blue and White’s negotiating teams have also met with Amir Peretz, head of Labor-Gesher, Nitzan Horowitz, head of the Democratic Union, Ahmed Tibi and Aymen Odeh of the Joint List.
Whilst no new government has been formed, Netanyahu formally took over the Diaspora Ministry this week as part of his interim government. The Prime Minister now holds 4 ministerial positions in addition to being Prime Minister.