Benny Gantz: My door is closed to Netanyahu - unequivocally

'I'm absolutely committed to the change bloc.' Defense Minister pushes back on reports that he is open to joining Likud-led government.

Tags: Benny Gantz
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
צילום: אריאל חרמוני, משרד הביטחון

With just over two days before President Reuven Rivlin’s mandate to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new coalition government set to expire, Defense Minister and Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz is pushing back on claims that he is open to joining a new government with the Likud.

Speaking at a gathering of Blue and White party lawmakers Sunday afternoon, Gantz unequivocally rejected any possibility of working with Netanyahu towards forming a new government.

“Even if they’ll ask me a hundred more times, the answer will still be the same and clear – my door is absolutely closed to Netanyahu,” Gantz said. “I am totally and only committed to the change bloc.”

Netanyahu’s mandate to form a new government is set to expire at midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday this week, sending the mandate back to President Rivlin.

If Netanyahu fails to form a government by the deadline, President Rivlin will be able to tap another candidate to form a government, giving that candidate 28 days to form a new government. The most likely choices would be either Opposition Leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid faction, or Yamina chief Naftali Bennett.

The president may also decline to grant a new mandate and task the Knesset with choosing a new premier, giving the legislature three weeks to vote for prime minister. If no candidate can secure the 61 seats necessary during those three weeks, the Knesset will be dissolved and new elections called.