Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin NetanyahuYehonatan Veltzer/TPS

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on Thursday night with Blue and White chairman MK Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu invited Gantz to an immediate meeting with the goal of immediately establishing a national emergency government, and stressed that “in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and in Israel, it is time for decisions of leadership.”

The Prime Minister made clear in the conversation that supporters of terrorism cannot be part of the government – neither during times of routine nor during times of emergency. Netanyahu’s office said “the Prime Minister is awaiting Gantz's response.”

For his part, Gantz suggested to Netanyahu that a meeting between the negotiating teams be held tonight to examine the establishment of a broad national emergency government to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

"Gantz informed Netanyahu that in any case, he intends to assist in any action that is related to the public good on this issue. Netanyahu has not yet responded to Gantz as of this hour," the Blue and White party said.

Earlier on Thursday evening, Gantz called for the formation of an emergency government which would include representatives from all Knesset factions, including the predominantly Arab Joint List.

Culture Minister Miri Regev called on the Blue and White chairman to enter the government without insisting that the Joint List be part of it as well.

"Gantz, show national leadership and responsibility and enter a national emergency government, without the supporters of terrorism, because that is the order of the hour," said Regev.

“Leadership is tested precisely at such times, it is a real war for the well-being and health of Israeli citizens. Be on the right side of history, without shticks and games. An entire nation longs for a stable government that will be prepared for the challenges ahead," she added.