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Right-wing parties decide to stick together as unity talks flail

Likud ministers claim Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid is intent on preventing a power-sharing agreement between party leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin during a Likud Party meeting at the Knesset, on May 18, 2015. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin during a Likud Party meeting at the Knesset, on May 18, 2015. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with leaders of parties from the right-wing bloc to discuss the future of negotiations to form a unity government after talks with Blue and White went south, with the center-left list pulling out of the most recent scheduled meeting to, in its officials’ own words, “weaken” Netanyahu.

During the meeting, the possibility of Netanyahu giving up his mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to form the next government was raised.

Likud ministers Yariv Levin and Ze’ev Elkin argued that Blue and White’s negotiation team canceled the latest meeting because Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid does not want party leader Benny Gantz to conclude a rotation agreement with Netanyahu, because he wants such an agreement with Gantz himself, in a government without Netanyahu.

The meeting ended with the party leaders agreeing to continue working together.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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