Netanyahu, Gantz said close to deal on emergency unity governement

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Then-defense minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a consultation during Hamas rocket fire at Israel and IDF counterstrikes, May 11, 2021. (Amos Ben Gershom / GPO / File)
Then-defense minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a consultation during Hamas rocket fire at Israel and IDF counterstrikes, May 11, 2021. (Amos Ben Gershom / GPO / File)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Unity party leader Benny Gantz are finalizing details of an agreement to form a “national emergency government” amid the ongoing war with Hamas and hostilities on the northern border, Hebrew media reports.

Netanyahu and Gantz met earlier today at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv to discuss how this government will function, after several days of disagreement.

Gantz, a former defense minister and IDF chief of staff, has demanded that a small war cabinet be created with a small number of ministers that would be empowered to make decisions in directing the war, but Netanyahu has been insisting that he have the final say, Channel 12 reports.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has also reportedly opposed the establishment of a small war cabinet and expressed criticism of Gantz’s record as IDF chief of staff, although he publicly denied that he opposes Gantz’s entry into the cabinet.

Hebrew media report that the agreement has been delayed, partially due to intense opposition from Netanyahu’s wife, Sara.

A formal announcement regarding an agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz has yet to be made.

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