Netanyahu, Gantz Form Unity Government

April 20, 2020
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – NOVEMBER 18: (ISRAEL OUT) In this handout image provided by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting on November 18, 2012 in Jerusalem. Israel. Israeli shelling of Gaza has entered its fifth day, with two media buildings being recently struck and several journalists injured. According to health officials in Gaza, at least 50 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched operation Pillar of Defence. So far three Israelis have died in the exchange of missiles which followed an air strike on Wednesday that killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. (Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz on April 20 signed an agreement to form a unity government.

Under the agreement, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for 18 months, and then Gantz will take over at the position for another 18 months. Gantz will serve as defense minister during Netanyahu’s remaining 18 months as prime minister.

Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew, “I promised the State of Israel a national emergency government that would work to save the lives and livelihoods of Israeli citizens. I will continue to do everything for you citizens of Israel.”

Gantz similarly tweeted, “We prevented fourth elections. We will protect democracy. We will fight the coronavirus and take care of all Israeli citizens.”

Yesh-Atid leader Yair Lapid criticized the deal for allowing Netanyahu to choose the representatives to the Judicial Selection Committee, the committee responsible for appointing judges to the Israeli courts. Lapid accused Gantz of agreeing “to allow the criminal defendant to appoint the judges that will judge on his matters.”

Netanyahu was indicted on charges of corruption in February; his trial will begin on May 24.

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