Gantz: 'We're looking for options to form a unity government'

Blue and White leader meets local leaders in the Galilee.

Hezki Baruch ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Flash 90

Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz on Wednesday toured the Western Galilee, meeting 11 local leaders.

Speaking to the gathering about Israel's security concerns, Gantz said: "We need to increase our deterrence in southern and northern Israel, where the quiet has been disturbed. On the other side, Hezbollah is gaining strength via its Iranian masters. I suggest that Hezbollah and our other enemies not try the IDF or the State of Israel. Because any harm to us will be met with strength the likes of which they have never seen. Israel is the strongest country in the area."

Regarding Defense Minister Naftali Bennett's (New Right) decision to cease returning the bodies of terrorists to their families, Gantz said: "It's a step in the right direction, but decisions like this need to be made in the cabinet and not in arguments of who gets the credit in the media. We have missing and kidnapped people on the other side and we need to do everything which is correct and make every effort to bring them home."

Gantz also discussed the security situation on the northern border, saying: "We need to strengthen the towns on along the border, and deal with the issue of protection. That is one of the reasons why we are trying to focus on forming a government - so that we will be able to deal with the country's issues, and not with the head of the state or the prime minister. We are looking into every option which will allow us to form a unity government, and I am personally involved in this."

"[Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu did not succeed in forming a government, and the public chose a unity government in which Blue and White, the largest party, should be leading the government. Netanyahu is facing a very difficult legal challenge. For the first time in history the Prime Minister of Israel is charged with bribery, fraud, and a breach of trust for things he did as a sitting prime minister. You can't ignore that."

Explaining the apparent contradiction between earlier announcements that his party would not sit with Netanyahu and his current declaration that he is looking into "every option" to form a unity government, Gantz said: "We are not ruling out Netanyahu as a person. We are ruling out the guilty Netanyahu. The Likud party needs to join a unity government. I hope that Netanyahu will be acquitted and able to return in two years. Even today there is constant political dialogue."

After Netanyahu failed to form a government, Gantz was tasked with the job. However, Gantz as well failed to form a government within the allocated time.