Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Netanyahu, Gantz deadlocked with almost all votes counted: Israel media

Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz met for the first time since the election Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz met for the first time since the election Credit GIL COHEN-MAGEN AFP Getty Images
Travis Berry | 20 September, 2019, 00:25

"The era of Netanyahu is over", claimed one opposition lawmaker as exit polls emerged Tuesday night.

Lieberman has been pushing for a unity government comprised of the biggest parties. Coalitions are the key to access the prime minister's office.

Gantz had additionally already reached out to Ayman Odeh, chief of the Joint Listing, the conglomeration of 4 Arab events that scored effectively in Tuesday's election, securing 12 seats.

The Joint List has even offered to join in a Blue and White-led coalition government, but Gantz has rejected this.

Netanyahu, who fell far in need of the decisive victory for which he campaigned so fiercely, appeared Wednesday with different right-wing events at a Jerusalem information convention, nonetheless defiantly pledging to assemble the seats within the Knesset, or parliament, he must prevail. Lieberman leads a nationalist secular party and he is adamant on the request to force every Israeli citizen to serve in the army, including Orthodox Jews.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu said he is seeking to form a government without using any Arab parties. However, he has ruled out serving under Netanyahu or sitting in cabinet with him. "Even if a unity government is formed, Netanyahu is out of the game", added Halabi. "And country always comes first", he said.

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Netanyahu called on Gantz to meet with him as soon as possible to start the process of forming a coalition together, confirming an exclusive report in Thursday's The Jerusalem Post. The elections were for him always a desperate gamble to evade the possibility of spending the rest of his life in jail for any one of several charges of corruption.

Akiva Lev, a 66-year-old Yisrael Beitenu party activist and a pensioner from northern Israel, said, "In any way, we shall be the party that decides (between) the Likud or (Benny) Gantz - who shall be the next prime minister of Israel". He spearheaded the recent adoption of the "Nation-State Law", which enshrines Jewish supremacy as the legal foundation of the Israeli state.

Netanyahu positioned worry of Arab management close to the middle of his marketing campaign, and the thought of Arabs within the authorities unnerved a few of his supporters. If that fails, the president can assign another parliament member the task of building a government, or he can call new elections, something that has never happened.

While the Prime Minister may yet find a way to endure, his bid to offer the hard right annexation of Palestinian territories in exchange for their support on immunity from criminal prosecution is all but dead.

Israelis endured a caustic campaign that saw a combative Netanyahu fighting for his political survival amid the recommendation by Israel's attorney general to indict him on charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud pending a hearing in early October. He had sought legislation, opposed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, that would have allowed political parties to film inside polling stations, a move seen as meant to intimidate Arab voters.

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