Israel to have unity government “today”, says Benjamin Netanyahu

The delivery of the Israeli union government, initially scheduled for May 14, against the background of negotiations on the allocation of ministerial posts, will take place this Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured deputies.

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The unity government of Benjamin Netanyahu and his ex-electoral rival, Benny Gantz, will come to fruition in Israel on Sunday, the Prime Minister assured during a speech to parliamentarians gathered in Jerusalem.

“The people want a unity government, and that is what they will have today,” he said shortly before a confidence vote on the unity government scheduled for later this afternoon. noon at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.

The union agreement initialed on April 20 by the Likud (right) of Benjamin Netanyahu and the centrist party, “Bleu-Blanc”, of Benny Gantz demonstrates an equitable division of the ministries between the two camps.

Under the terms of the agreement, Benjamin Netanyahu will remain prime minister for eighteen months before giving up his seat for a period equivalent to Benny Gantz. It also allows the two leaders to redistribute ministerial posts to their political allies.

Before the ceremony initially scheduled for May 14, elected representatives of the Netanyahu camp, disappointed not to have obtained posts, threatened not to appear in Parliament for the vote of confidence, pushing the Likud to postpone the ceremony to Sunday.

Parliament is scheduled to meet in the early afternoon in Jerusalem to elect a new Speaker. This will be followed by statements by MPs, a vote of confidence in the government and the taking of the oath.

This “unity and emergency” government had been promised to put aside political rivalries and defend Israel against the pandemic of new coronavirus which infected more than 16,500 people, including 268 deaths, according to official data.

But this assessment remains weak in comparison to countries in Europe or the Americas. And the country of about 9 million inhabitants began deconfinement by reopening the majority of shops and schools, while maintaining the obligation to wear a sanitary mask.

As elsewhere, the challenge is twofold: get back on track an economy that has seen its technical unemployment rate jump from 3.4% to 27% due to the crisis, while avoiding a second wave of contamination.

Economy, annexation and justice

In addition to health and economic issues, the new government must consider the implementation of the American project for the Middle East which provides in particular for the annexation by Israel of the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.

The government must present from 1er July his strategy on this extremely sensitive issue, the Palestinians and neighboring Jordan having already warned against the consequences of such a project. Most countries in the European Union also want to convince Israel to give it up in order to avoid having to punish that country.

“What would happen if the Palestinian Authority collapsed? There will be more chaos and extremism in the region. If Israel really annexed [des pans de] the West Bank in July, this will lead to a major conflict with the Jordanian kingdom, “warned King Abdullah II in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel.

The Union government’s “guidelines” on this subject, presented last week, remain unclear: they do not explicitly mention “annexation”, but refer to the need to “strengthen national security” and work to the peace”.

Between now and the security talks on annexation, and after seventeen months of political saga, Israel could experience a new soap opera, that one, with the opening scheduled for a week’s trial of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The longest-serving head of government in the history of Israel with fourteen years in power is also set to become the first to be tried on corruption charges during his tenure on May 24, unless the hearing is also postponed.

With AFP

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