Israeli Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu has offered the premiership to Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White), according to a report by Israel Hayom Wednesday morning.
Netanyahu proposed that Blue and White join a new right-wing transitional government in the current Knesset ahead of new elections.
Under the arrangement suggested by the Likud chief, Gantz would be named Prime Minister before new elections are called, and then would be elected prime minister for one year in the next government, to be formed after this fall’s election.
Blue and White would join right-wing Opposition lawmakers in passing a motion of no-confidence in the present government, establishing a new coalition with Gantz as premier. Afterwards, the Knesset would dissolve itself, with Netanyahu taking over as interim prime minister, with Gantz returning as premier for one year after a government is formed in the 25th Knesset.
The proposal was conveyed to Gantz by United Torah Judaism chief MK Moshe Gafni.
Gantz refused the offer, the report claimed, saying he did not trust Netanyahu to uphold the agreement.
“He has exhausted all the political trust you can give him.”
Following the 2020 election, Gantz agreed to form a government with Netanyahu, and was slated to replace Netanyahu as premier in a power sharing arrangement.
After the Likud refused to uphold the coalition agreement to pass a two-year budget, however, the government collapsed before the transition could take place.
Israel Hayom also reported that the Likud has reached out to New Hope lawmakers, offering them top positions in a new government.
Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, chairman of the New Hope party, was offered the Defense Ministry portfolio, but reportedly refused the offer.
The Likud also suggested forming a new government led by someone other than Netanyahu, hoping to entice New Hope members to join.
New Hope said in a statement, however, that the party remains adamant in its opposition to such an arrangement.
“The Likud hasn’t stopped trying, but it is all for naught. We’re all with Gideon [Sa’ar], no one is leaving.”