Netanyahu, opponents form unity government in Israel in response to coronavirus

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed with the opposing Blue and White Alliance to form a unity government.

Under the agreement, according to Channel 13 Israel, Netanyahu will remain in power until September 2021. Blue and White Alliance leader Benny Gantz will become the nation’s new foreign minister.

Netanyahu and Gantz, according to the Jerusalem Post, spoke by phone Thursday and then ordered their coalition negotiating teams to meet to form a unity government.


Gantz, according to Reuters, received an official mandate Monday to form Israel's next government and called on Netanyahu to join him in a unity administration.

President Donald Trump's first foreign trip as president will come at the end of May and will include stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.

Netanyahu declared victory in the March 2 election, but 61 of the Israeli Parliament’s 120 legislators voiced support for Gantz. On Sunday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gave Gantz 28 days to assemble a ruling coalition.

Netanyahu proposed a six-month “national emergency government” grouping Blue and White and the prime minister’s right-wing Likud party to confront the coronavirus crisis.

Israel has held three inconclusive elections in less than a year, and Netanyahu faces a criminal indictment on corruption charges, which he denies.

This story is developing.