Netanyahu meets with Gantz

Prime Minister meets with Blue and White chief in bid to overcome deadlock. Both sides agree to continue talks.

Hezki Baruch,

Netanyahu and Gantz
Netanyahu and Gantz
Credit: Elad Malka

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz met on Sunday evening at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv.

At the meeting, the two discussed the present political possibilities. It has been agreed that the Likud and Blue and White negotiation teams will remain in contact and another meeting is expected between Netanyahu and Gantz.

Earlier today, the parties' negotiation teams met in Kfar Maccabiah.

At the end of the meeting, Blue and White stated: "The meeting was held in good spirits, and during the meeting Blue and White's negotiation teams sought to coordinate further meetings in the coming days to discuss options to form a government and coalition guidelines based on the understanding that the mandate is currently held by Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz and he is the designated prime minister."

Blue and White also stated: "The Likud has continued to insist throughout the meeting that it represents the 'immunity bloc' of 55 and is not prepared for any compromise on the issue."

At the end of the meeting, the Likud stated: "The meeting of the negotiation teams is now over. Minister Yariv Levin reiterated that the team represents all 55 members of the right-wing bloc."

The Likud also noted: In answer to the question of the representatives of the right wing's negotiation team, Blue and White representatives refused once again to accept the framework of the president of the state, which is the only path for the formation of a broad national unity government."

Additionally, Minister Levin warned against the formation of a minority government which depends on the support of Arab parties as dangerous for Israel. "The Blue and White representatives refused to commit that they will not establish this dangerous minority government," Levin said.

The parties agreed to continue talks, and Minister Levin expressed hope that at the next meetings the Blue and White approach would change, the delusional option of forming a minority government with the support of the Arab parties would be abandoned, the president's framework would be accepted and discussions would be practical and quick.