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Netanyahu’s Rival Gantz Told to form Cabinet

Monday 16 March 2020
Netanyahu’s Rival Gantz Told to form Cabinet

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Israeli PM Corruption Trial Postponed until May amid Coronavirus Emergency

Alwaght- Israeli regime's president has chosen centrist retired army general Benny Gantzto form a cabinet, setting in motion a swing that could result in the political downfall of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The decision is also a blow to US President Donald Trump who spent a lot of his political capital through an extremely biased Mideast plan and annexation to have Netanyahu back in power.

Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin on Sunday asked Gantz to form the the cabinet after 61 lawmakers in the 120-member Knesset backed the decision in order to end a year of political stalemate.

Gantz, the leader of Blue and White party, will be officially appointed as prime minister-designate on Monday. He will have up to four weeks to form a cabinet - a mission which he may not accomplish just like Netanyahu. 

However, what matters is that Gantz has now a chance to take control of the Knesset, appoint the speaker from his party, control the main committees and start pushing legislation that could prevent Netanyahu from forming a cabinet due to his corruption indictments.

Netanyahu was in January formally charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, becoming the first Israeli premier ever indicted in office.

His trial was due to open on Tuesday, but he took advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to shut down the courts, making it impossible for his trial to begin as scheduled.

Israel has been in a political stalemate after three inconclusive elections, the latest of which was held earlier this month.

With the coronavirus outbreak weighing down, Rivlin summoned the two rivals to a meeting on Sunday evening for an "urgent conversation," which ended without agreement.

Israel has hundreds of confirmed cases of coronavirus, with tens of thousands in home-quarantine.

Authorities have banned gatherings of more than 10 people and ordered schools, universities, restaurants and cafes to close, among other measures.

On Saturday, Netanyahu gave Israel's spy agency Shin Bet the green light to use "counter-terrorism" operations against those infected with the new coronavirus, treating the pandemic as a security menace.

Former minister of military affairs Moshe Ya'alon, who is currently a lawmaker from the Blue and White political alliance, took to Twitter to denounce Netanyahu's new regulations as a "cynical exploitation of the coronavirus crisis for the personal interests of a defendant before trial."

Netanyahu had pledged to annex the occupied West Bank “within weeks” provided that he was re-elected.

Trump contributed his own extreme measures to the campaign. In January, he unveiled his most controversial plan for the Middle East, which is absolutely biased in favor of Israel.

The extraordinary chance given to Gantz is a shocking blow to those efforts after Netanyahu appeared to come out ahead in the elections held earlier this month.

 

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