Blue and White's four leaders
Blue and White's four leaders Photo by Gili Yaari/Flsh90

The discussions within the Blue and White party regarding a unity government are ongoing, Israel Hayom reported.

According to the report, three of Blue and White's four leaders expressed skepticism regarding whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would agree to a unity government or insist on new elections.

Blue and White's MK Yair Lapid, who heads the party's Yesh Atid faction, still opposes sitting with Netanyahu, though the other three - MKs Benny Gantz, Moshe Ya'alon, and Gabi Ashkenazi - seem willing to consider the option.

However, if the party decides to agree to a unity government, Ya'alon will remain outside the government - but part of the coalition - during the first stage, when Netanyahu is serving as prime minister. Later, when Gantz takes his turn as prime minister, Ya'alon will join the government as a minister.

According to Israel Hayom, such a move would allow Ya'alon to keep his promise not to serve under Netanyahu.

Earlier this week, it was reported that if Blue and White joins a unity government, its Yesh Atid faction will remain outside the coalition.

Blue and White's leaders have left all options open, including the option of forming a minority government supported from the outside by the Joint Arab List. However, the party estimates that this option is not truly on the table, and that if no advances are made in negotiations with the Likud, Gantz will be forced next week to return the mandate to form a government to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

If Gantz does return the mandate, there will be 14 days during which any MK able to collect 61 signatures will be able to form a government. If no one succeeds, Israel will be forced to hold new elections - for the third time in a year.