Deri calls on Gantz to join government with Likud, religious parties

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri calls on Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to agree to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer for a government made up of Likud, Blue and White and religious parties.

The offer would see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serve for two years as prime minister followed by Gantz for two years. The sides would split up ministerial positions equally.

Blue and White has vowed not to sit in a government with Netanyahu so long as he is under indictment. The party has also called for forming a liberal unity government, in a rebuff of the religious parties.

“There is a high possibility that the Knesset will disperse again,” Deri says at faction meeting of his ultra-Orthodox Shas party ahead of the Knesset’s swearing-in ceremony. “This is a real crisis and a big problem for the economy and our security.”

“I direct my concerns at one person who holds the key — Benny Gantz,” continues Deri. “I always defended him when he was attacked and defend him to this very today. I tell him: My dear Benny, join Netanyahu’s call to form unity for which he made great concessions and made a very generous offer. I do not know if I myself would agree to make such a generous offer, but he did so. Now it is your turn.”

— Jacob Magid

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