Gantz leaves meeting with Netanyahu without deal
Blue & White chief Benny Gantz reportedly storms out of meeting with PM, prepares to back legislation aimed at Netanyahu.
Netanyahu and GantzTomer Neuberg/Flash90
Talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz blew up Monday morning, after the two sides failed to reach an agreement for the formation of a national unity government.
Members of the Likud and Blue and White negotiating teams had been planning to update the two leaders of the progress made in talks overnight, when the meeting ended abruptly, despite recent breakthroughs on some key issues.
According to a report by Channel 12 Monday morning, Gantz, who met with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Residence, left the meeting after an hour and a half without an agreement or breakthrough on a key issue – the make-up of the judicial appointments committee.
Netanyahu is said to have offered two compromise arrangements to placate Gantz, though neither option was accepted, according to Channel 12.
As a result of the failure to bridge the gap and reach a coalition agreement, Gantz is reportedly preparing to back legislation aimed at barring Netanyahu from being tapped for an additional term as premier.
Gantz, who has demanded that Netanyahu sign an coalition agreement by Monday, is said to be laying the groundwork for the bill backed by the Yisrael Beytenu and Yesh Atid parties which would prevent the mandate for forming a government from being given to any MK who is currently under indictment – a law which if passed would prevent Netanyahu from serving an additional term as premier.
The Knesset is slated to convene at 11:00 a.m. Monday to consider the bill in question.
Before the meeting adjourned Monday morning, sources close to Netanyahu seemed to express optimism, saying the “This time it looks serious.”
Sources in Blue and White, however, were skeptical, saying “The Likud told us this morning that we can press forward, but we’ve been through this before already. If Netanyahu wants this, he can settle it in an hour and a half.”
The apparent breakdown in talks comes a day after sources with knowledge of the negotiations said that the two parties had achieved a major breakthrough in coalition talks and are close to securing a deal.