Netanyahu, Gantz Put Rivalry Aside to Form Unity Government Amid Gaza War

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz agreed on Wednesday to form a unity government, ending months of political deadlock following three inconclusive elections.

Gantz, Gadi Eisenkot, the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces between 2015-2019, and Gideon Sa’ar, the deputy prime minister in 2021, will reportedly be sworn in as ministers in the government; a smaller security cabinet, including Netanyahu, current Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, and Ron Dermer, who is currently serving as Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, will be formed.

MK Matan Kahana from the National Unity Party stated, “A unified emergency government is what is needed now to lead to victory in the war. With God’s help, we will do it and we will succeed,” as Israel National News reported.

Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar added, “Thank God there is a unity government for the State of Israel. And now, we are all together for victory in the war and the complete destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. This is what the people of Israel expected from us because only together will we win, with God’s help.”

Another opposition leader, Avigdor Liberman of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, wrote Netanyahu saying he would join an emergency government. He stated, “There must be a public commitment by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the IDF chief of staff to the people of Israel.”

“All three of them should announce in their own voice that the elimination of Hamas, the leaders of Hamas and the end of the ‘arrangements’ era are acceptable to them and these are the goals of the current conflict,” he added.

The heads of regional authorities in southern Israel, the area primarily targeted in the Hamas attack, the country’s south, wrote Netanyahu, “We, the heads of the authorities in the Negev, who are dealing with rocket fire on our settlement, infiltration by terrorists, many murdered and killed, missing, kidnapped and injured, call on you at this difficult time for the people and the State of Israel to immediately establish a national emergency government,” Jewish News Syndicate reported.