After Year-Long Deadlock, Israel Set to Have Its First Coalition Government

After three general elections and an unprecedented deadlock, all within the course of one year, Netanyahu and Gantz signed a government coalition agreement. (Photo: File)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

After three general elections and an unprecedented deadlock, all within the course of one year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz signed a government coalition agreement on April 20. 

Their parties, Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) will now push for a legislation that will provide the legal basis for a rotation agreement where they both will serve as prime ministers.

“Netanyahu will act as prime minister first while Gantz will serve as deputy,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday, explaining that “the two will rotate after 18 months. This will be set in a law that would require 75 lawmakers to overturn.” 

Netanyahu and Gantz’s coalition will reportedly include separate deals with ultra-orthodox and rightwing parties.

Moreover, “according to the deal, Netanyahu can advance legislation to annex parts of the West Bank starting July 1, on the condition that the move is supported by the U.S. administration,” Haaretz also reported.

The deal seems to favor Netanyahu’s party, as the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Israel will now be able to reject appointments of the next state prosecutor and attorney general. This veto is likely to shield him from future prosecution in three corruption cases which are set to begin on May 24.

“It was intended to be a Machiavellian move, but the decision by Benny Gantz, the leader of Israel’s Blue and White coalition, to join a Benjamin Netanyahu-led government is likely to destabilize the political fabric of Israeli society for years to come,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud.

“Everything Gantz has worked for — three consecutive elections and a desperate attempt at carving up a centrist political narrative in a country leaning more to the right — has come crashing down,” Baroud added. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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