In a 45-minute meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz once again seem to have failed to unify the government.
According to the Times of Israel, at the time of this writing, the two have only eight days to form a new government. To form a new government one of the lawmakers needs to garner the support of at least 61 of the 120-member Knesset – Israel’s unicameral national legislature.
If both parties fail to do so, Israel will be forced into another election. The next election would mark the third election in one year, a first in the nation’s history.
The Times of Israel reports that both Netanyahu and Gantz are blaming each other for the failure to form a government.
Following the Tuesday meeting, Netanyahu’s Likud party released a statement noting that Gantz’s party is simply refusing to form a unity government.
“The prime minister offered to creatively anchor in law the [premiership] rotation. In the face of far-reaching concessions, Blue and White continues to refuse to form a unity government over the veto imposed by [Blue and White No. 2 Yair] Lapid,” the statement read.
“So Lapid is dragging us to elections in order to ensure that Netanyahu remains in power,” it added.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Likud said on Sunday that their party had agreed to “major concessions” but “Yair Lapid is still making every effort to thwart a unity government.”
The statement continues, “If Lapid ceases to sabotage unity efforts, there is still a real possibility of preventing elections and forming a unity government.”
Lapid has denied that he is standing in the way of the formation of a unity government.
Blue and White, too, released a statement following the Tuesday meeting accusing Netanyahu of forcing the country into another elections.
“The Likud chairman brought no offer that matches his legal situation or recognizes that he lost the elections, or any new offer at all,” the statement read.
“In the meeting, he refused to commit to the basic guidelines for the government or to not seek personal immunity.”
“In short,” Blue and White asserted, “Netanyahu chose elections.”
Earlier reports allude to a possible compromise agreement that would allow Netanyahu to maintain his premiership for six months before turning the position over to Gantz for the next two years.
Reportedly, the Blue and White party fear that if Netanyahu maintains his premiership, he would use it to secure immunity from a handful of crimes he has been accused of.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Stephanie Keith/Stringer