Israel's Netanyahu, Gantz agree emergency unity govt

Israel's Netanyahu, Gantz agree emergency unity govt

The coalition agreement, released to the media, also states that while the new government will strive for peace and regional stability, plans to extend Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank - land that the Palestinians seek for a state - could be promoted.

Beginning July 1, Netanyahu will be allowed to present any agreement reached with the USA regarding annexing parts of the West Bank, to the Cabinet and then to parliament for a vote. Under Israeli law, public officials, with the exception of the prime minister, must resign if charged with a crime.

Yisrael Beytenu's Avigdor Liberman (C) meets with then-Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz (2nd-L), Yair Lapid (2nd-R), Gabi Ashkenazi (R) and Moshe Ya'alon (L), on March 10, 2020. Gantz has thus put himself in oxymoronic negotiations over a power-sharing agreement with the man he has vowed to replace in three consecutive elections, oscillating between pushing a bill to outlaw Netanyahu's ability to serve as prime minister under indictment, while simultaneously propping up that very scenario.

The Israeli health ministry has reported 13,654 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 173 associated deaths.

Netanyahu had been desperate to remain in office throughout the trial, using his position to lash out at his enemies and rally public opposition to his prosecutors.

It means that Netanyahu will nearly certainly remain in office for the duration of his upcoming trial on corruption charges.

Many waved black flags as a symbol for threats against Israel's democracy. "These measures have proven themselves... these positive results enable us to ease the restrictions gradually", the premier said, as quoted by The Times of Israel. "If you're inside, you're part of it", Lapid said.

Demonstrators wore face masks and tried to maintain distances of two metres (2.18 yards) from their fellows to abide by social-distancing advice.

While welcoming the agreement to form a government, Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman said that the emerging coalition was a far cry from the unity government between Likud and Blue and White that he had been calling for. The talks dragged on and stalled several times, reportedly over Netanyahu's personal legal problems, sparking concern that the collapse of a deal would force the country into new elections.

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