Saturday, December 2, 2023

WORLD | 11-10-2023 12:24

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces wartime 'emergency government' with Gantz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu establishes "emergency government" with politician and retired Army general Benny Gantz for the duration of the war.

Israel's announced Wednesday an "emergency government" with an opposition party leader, Benny Gantz, for the duration of the war with Gaza militants.

"Following a meeting ... held today, the two agreed on establishing an emergency government and war cabinet," said a joint statement by the premier and Gantz, a former defence minister and Army chief.

The three-member "war cabinet" would include Netanyahu, Gantz and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

Gadi Eisenkot, also a former army chief from Gantz's party, and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer will serve as observers, according to the statement.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid has not joined his former ally Gantz, but the statement said a seat would be "reserved" for him in the war cabinet.

Netanyahu's extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies would remain in government.

The premier has agreed to freeze the hardline government's divisive judicial overhaul, which had triggered mass street protests -- the biggest in the country's history.

"During the war, no bills or government-sponsored motions that are unrelated to the war would be advanced," the statement said.

Gantz last served in a Netanyahu administration in 2020-2021 under a rotation agreement that was meant to see him take the helm for the second half of the government's tenure, but early elections had been called before he was to become prime minister.



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