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Gantz postpones India trip for 2nd time, after opposition refuses to offset his vote

Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the IDF Central Command headquarters in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the IDF Central Command headquarters in Jerusalem, on March 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is delaying a visit to India, for the second time, after opposition lawmakers refuse to offset his absence during votes in the Knesset.

Gantz was slated to travel to India at 3 p.m. to sign a “special security declaration” marking 30 years of security and diplomatic relations between the countries. The trip was initially meant to take place in late March, but Gantz delayed it then amid a series of deadly terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank.

Hours before he is scheduled to take off, a Likud party source confirms that the opposition would “absolutely” refuse to offset Gantz’s vote.

Offsetting votes is a common Knesset practice, whereby a coalition and an opposition MK cancel out their votes by an agreed-upon mutual absence or abstention.

It was not immediately clear if Gantz would fly later in the day. A Defense Ministry spokesperson says the trip would happen at a later time or date, and a Blue and White party spokesperson says he will stay in the country for now.

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