Likud, Blue and White negotiations end in deadlock

Likud official: "Yair Lapid is hampering a unity government because he doesn't want a rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz."

Ido Ben Porat , | updated: 1:09 PM

Likud negotiating team on Friday
Likud negotiating team on Friday

The meeting of the Likud and Blue and White negotiating teams that took place Sunday morning at the Knesset lasted about two hours, and apparently ended without any progress.

In an official statement released by Blue and White, it is alleged that Likud's insistence on precedence in a rotation and on the 55-MK bloc has hampered negotiations.

"Unfortunately, Likud only adheres to ‘Netanyahu first.’ In this context, Likud insists on sticking to the bloc of 55 and spewing slogans with the sole purpose of accumulating points ahead of the additional elections to which Netanyahu is bringing Israel," the statement said.

Blue and White added, "The State of Israel needs a broad, stable and liberal unity government led by Benny Gantz - we will continue to work solely for this purpose."

The Likud, on the other hand, claimed that negotiations were hampered by Blue and White. An official statement issued by the Likud said, "Major disappointment in Likud this morning due to the continued refusal of Blue and White to accept the unity government of the president - an equitable government with a rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz."

"The fact that Blue and White rejects the only possibility for a unity government proves that Blue and White made a strategic decision to slam the door on a unity government and drag the state into elections," the Likud added.

However, the party said, "Prime Minister Netanyahu will make a last effort to realize the possibility of forming a government at this stage, before returning the mandate to the president. Even in the event that the mandate is returned, Likud will act in every possible way to promote a unity government in accordance with the president's outline."

A party official added following the failure of the negotiations, "Yair Lapid is hampering a unity government because he does not want a rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz, he wants a rotation between himself and Gantz - and for that he is ready to drag the state into elections."

The Likud announced on Saturday night that Netanyahu would likely return the mandate if no progress was made toward the establishment of a unity government in the spirit of President Rivlin's proposal.

"The Likud negotiating team has been instructed by the prime minister to make every possible effort to advance a broad unity government according to the president's framework at the negotiation meeting with Blue and White on [Sunday]," the statement said.

"But if Blue and White is unwilling to accept the framework presented by the president (a rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz and an equitable government) nor offer any other realistic framework, there's no point in wasting time and dragging the state into continued paralysis."

"If Blue and White decides to continue in its refusal of the President's outline and thus drag the country to elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu will very likely return the mandate."