Benny Gantz: 'Israel may have a civil war'

'If new elections are held, it'll be because Netanyahu needs it for personal reasons,' Defense Min. Gantz claims.

Hezki Baruch ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) on Saturday evening responded to a compromise suggested by Derech Eretz MK Zvi Hauser.

In his proposal, Hauser suggests delaying the deadline to pass the budget by 100 days, during which time Israel's government would agree on a budget and a plan for stabilizing the economy. No appointments would be made during those 100 days, while a new committee would examine how senior officials are appointed. Instead, the focus would instead be on managing the coronavirus outbreak, preparing for flu season, and security concerns on the Gaza and northern borders.

Speaking to News 13, Gantz said: "From my perspective, this committee needs to and can stand up and examine the ways in which we want to appoint people, and anyway, we need to reach agreements on this issue."

He added: "In another two days, if you go to new elections, it'll be because [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu needs it for his own personal reasons. It's a shame that it should happen this way - there's no reason not to solve the budget issue. I'm not capable of finding any reasons for this, other than personal motives. He has three indictments, and it would be appropriate for all of us to act with humility."

"If we hold new elections, we may end up with a civil war," Gantz warned.

"Netanyahu needs to ask himself, 'What did I do, as Prime Minister, to ensure that there will not be elections?' He did not keep the section on the budget. We are prepared for any solution. All that needs to be done is to return to the agreement. There's no reason to bring us to elections."

According to the agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz, if a budget is not approved by August 24, the Knesset will be automatically dissolved.



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