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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu announces success in forming new govt

According to the deal reached between Gantz and Netanyahu, Israel could begin to move on annexation of parts of the West Bank as early as July as part of the implementation of the US peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians.

SNS Web | New Delhi |

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally notified President Reuven Rivlin that he was able to form a government, after 18-month-long political deadlock.

In a letter to President Rivlin on Wednesday, Netanyahu informed them that he has “succeeded in forming a government”, which he will present to Parliament on Thursday, according to the media reports/

Netanyahu was tasked by Rivlin to put together a new government after Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, failed to do so following the March 2 elections, the third in 12 months.

Last month, the alliance formed between the right-wing incumbent and his centrist challenger followed three inconclusive elections in less than a year.

Under the three-year deal, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for 18 months, with Gantz as his alternate, a new position in Israeli governance.

Gantz will serve as Defence Minister and “alternate Prime Minister”, a title which did not exist before in Israeli politics.

He resigned as Parliament Speaker on Tuesday night, ahead of the swearing-in of the new government.

The deal was signed on April 20 after neither party succeeded in forming a governing coalition in the country’s deeply divided 120-member parliament.

They will swap roles midway through the deal, with cabinet positions split between Netanyahu’s Likud party and Gantz’s Blue and White alliance, as well as their respective allies.

It is slated to be the largest in Israel’s history with between 34 to 36 ministerial portfolios.

The excess comes at a time when the projections for the Israeli economy were that it will shrink in 2020 and there are approximately one million unemployed people.

According to the deal reached between Gantz and Netanyahu, Israel could begin to move on annexation of parts of the West Bank as early as July as part of the implementation of the US peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians.

Last Wednesday, Netanyahu and Gantz met but could not come up with an agreed candidate to lead the health ministry as well as several other issues.

Hundreds of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv against the unity government, the latest in a string of dozens of rallies against a government in which Netanyahu serves as the Prime Minister.

The protesters said that a person indicted with criminal charges should not lead the government.

Netanyahu, a hardline leader of the right-wing Likud party, has served as the Prime Minister since 2009.

He is indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. His trial is scheduled to begin on May 24 in the Jerusalem District Court.