Officials: Blue and White in agreement on most issues

Officials in Likud and Blue and White: Main dispute in talks on emergency government resolved. Ball is now in the court of Lapid and Gantz.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz
Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz
Flash 90

Officials in the Likud and Blue and White parties said on Friday night, according to a report on Channel 13 News, that the main dispute in the talks on an emergency government has been resolved, and that a few other minor points of contention remain.

The report said that the draft agreement includes a clause stating that if the Knesset is dissolved by one of the parties before the rotation in the post of Prime Minister goes into effect, the premiership during the transitional government will go to the person who was next in line to assume the role. This means that if Binyamin Netanyahu works to dissolve the Knesset after a year and four months, Gantz will serve as Prime Minister during the transitional period.

Another unresolved issue is that of the Justice Ministry, according to Channel 13. Blue and White want the portfolio for themselves, whereas Likud talks about an agreed upon candidate, though such a candidate does not exist at the moment. There is also an alternative proposal: A Minister from the Likud and a Deputy Minister from Blue and White, who will make decisions together. At this point there is no agreement on this issue.

So far, an agreement has been reached on the time of the unity government, if established, and on the time of Netanyahu's term as Prime Minister. A special rotation government is likely to be set up for three years – led by Netanyahu for a year and a half, and then led by Gantz for a year and a half. The government is supposed to begin as an emergency government that deals only with the coronavirus crisis and later become a unity government.

The ball is now in the court of Gantz and Yair Lapid. Lapid has to decide whether to join such a government. If Lapid does not join, Gantz will have to decide whether to dismantle Blue and White, and enter with 17-18 MKs a government of which 58 MKs are from the right.

Gantz on Thursday said he did not rule out a unity government with Netanyahu.

Those comments came after it was reported that Gantz had agreed to a unity government in which Netanyahu will serve as Prime Minister first.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi reportedly supports the compromise, but Lapid and Moshe Ya'alon are opposed to any deal which would allow Netanyahu to remain in office. The dispute could lead to the breakup of the Blue and White party.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)