Blue and White: We won't agree to Likud's terms

As Likud team pushes unity, Blue and White team rejects unified 55-MK bloc, PM Netanyahu as premier.

Hezki Baruch ,

PM Netanyahu (L) with Pres. Rivlin (C) and MK Gantz (R)
PM Netanyahu (L) with Pres. Rivlin (C) and MK Gantz (R)
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

After a four and a half hours, negotiating teams from the Likud and Blue and White parties concluded their meeting without coming to an agreement.

At the beginning of the meeting, Likud's negotiators said they are willing to accept Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's proposal for a unity government, emphasizing the immediate need for a broad unity government.

The Likud team said the meeting focused mostly on the various aspects of Rivlin's proposal, but that Blue and White's representatives did not say whether or not they would accept it.

Though the Likud team wanted to continue discussions immediately, Blue and White requested not to meet on Saturday night, and to delay the next meeting until Sunday morning, a Likud statement said. It added that ministers Ze'ev Elkin and Yariv Levin requested that during the next meeting, Blue and White provide a clear answer regarding Rivlin's proposal.

A statement from Blue and White said: "Blue and White reiterates that the essence and substance are most important when it comes to any negotiations regarding forming a government. On the other hand, the Likud's stance, as it was stated in the meeting, is that the issue of a rotation and the continuation of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his position are the basis for conducting the discussion."

"During the discussion, Blue and White's negotiating team proposed several initial demands, but the Likud's negotiating team remained steadfast and conditioned its approach to these issues on the Blue and White first and foremost agreeing to Netanyahu continuing as prime minister and acceptance of the 55-member bloc.

"As is known, Blue and White will not agree to these demands, and therefore there is no option but to understand that insistence on these two preconditions is only in order to drag the State of Israel to a third election, like the Prime Minister wants."