Netanyahu proposes outline for unity gov’t

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Jerusalem – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday presented his main political rival Benny Gantz, with an outline for a unity government, the Likud said in a statement.

The outline calls for forming a broad national unity government that would include the Likud, the Blue and White party led by Gantz, and Likud’s religious allies.

The outline is also seeking quick approval of a multi-year defense plan in the wake of growing security challenges in an apparent reference to U.S. forces’ withdrawal from Syria.

Netanyahu proposed that the Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White set an agreed target for deficit and new budgetary priorities to fund a larger defense spending.

“This is the only government that is possible to form now and the only government that must be formed now,“Netanyahu said.

Israel’s political system had been in a deadlock since the parliamentary election on Sept. 17, with both Likud as well as the Blue and White party failing to win enough votes to form a government.

Meanwhile, it was the second time in five months that Israel held the elections after Netanyahu failed to form a government after winning the April elections.

In September elections, Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party won 33 seats in the 120-seat parliament, one seat ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud.

However, Netanyahu was tasked by President Reuven Rivlin with trying to establish a new coalition government after a right-wing bloc composed of his religious allies said they would agree to join a coalition under his leadership.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu is facing a Nov. 26, deadline for forming a government. If he fails, the mandate would be returned to the president, who is expected to pass the task to Gantz, a former military chief.

Gantz is reportedly willing to join a coalition with Netanyahu, but some of his party leaders strongly refused, citing the party promised its voters not to sit in a government with Netanyahu, who is charged with corruption. (Xinhua/NAN)

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