Last week Benny Gantz returned the mandate to form a government to the President. The Knesset is now in a 21-day grace period where any MK can attempt to get the mandate by garnering the written support of the majority of MKs.
The Attorney General announced that he is indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in the Bezeq-Walla Affair; for fraud and breach of trust in the Illegal Gifts Affair; and for fraud and breach of trust in the Yediot Ahronot-Israel Hayom Affair.
Netanyahu once again rejected the allegations against him calling the charges a set up in order to topple a Prime Minister from the right.
Amir Peretz, the leader of Labor-Gesher is forming a legal team to appeal to the Supreme Court to have the Prime Minister removed from office based on his recent indictments.
Blue and White have said that “a Prime Minister up to his neck in corruption investigations has no moral or public mandate to decide crucial issues for the State of Israel.” The party’s attorneys are making a legal appeal for Netanyahu to resign from his ministries, Israeli law doesn’t require him to resign as Prime Minister, but he would not be allowed to hold any other ministries.
Nitzan Horwitz, leader of the Democratic Union has said that “Netanyahu must not serve as Prime Minister for one extra moment”.
Likud MK Miki Zohar said that “we knew that the Attorney General will not be able to stand up to the pressure turned on him”.
Likud MK Gidon Sa’ar is appealing to the Likud courts to instigate a party leadership race where the MK intends to challenge Netanyahu. Sa’ar insists that this race should be before December 11th, the deadline for any MK to try and win the mandate to form a government.
The right-wing bloc is currently sticking together saying that Netanyahu is innocent until proven guilty.
Prior to the mandate being returned to the President, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman announced that he will not be joining a minority government with the Joint List calling them “a fifth column” he also announced that he will not be joining a right-wing coalition despite receiving enticing offers including the offer of a Prime Minister rotation option. Liberman also insists that he will help prevent a third round of elections.
In his concession speech, Gantz warned that Netanyahu is leading Israel down a dangerous path with his refusal to give up his right-wing bloc. Gantz hopes that the Kenesset will back him in the current grace period to be Prime Minister. Gantz has now firmly ruled out joining a coalition with Netanyahu due to his indictments.
Ayelet Shaked, co-leader of Hayamin Hechadash (New Right) has said that she hopes to knock some sense into party leaders in order to prevent another election and said that the being in the Knesset on the day Gantz returned the mandate for Prime Minister felt like being in a kindergarten.
Upon handing the mandate to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, President Rivlin told MK’s that their political fates are less important than the daily lives of Israeli citizens and pleaded for them to prevent another election.