“Israel”: No Unity Gov’t till Now, Talks without Progress
By Staff- Agencies
Negotiations between representatives from the Likud party and its rival, Blue and White, over the possibility of forming a unity government in the “Israeli” entity ended early Sunday afternoon with both sides blaming the other for a lack of progress and apparent breakdown of the talks.
Likud said "Israeli" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would make a final attempt to reach agreements on Wednesday — the same day his pre-indictment hearing begins with the attorney general — in direct talks with his counterpart from Blue and White, Benny Gantz.
Immediately after the Sunday meeting, Blue and White released a statement saying that “regrettably, Likud is sticking to its precondition of ‘Netanyahu first.’ Within this framework, Likud is insistent on the 55-member bloc and on throwing around slogans with the sole aim of generating support in preparation for dragging Israel into another round of elections at the behest of Netanyahu.”
The party added: “‘Israel’ needs a broad, stable and liberal unity government under the leadership of Benny Gantz — we will continue to pursue this goal and this goal alone.”
While Netanyahu is now expected to tell the entity’s President Reuven Rivlin that he is unable to form a majority government, Likud said he will “make a last effort to realize the possibility of forming a government at this stage, before returning the mandate to the president.”
Netanyahu and Gantz will meet on Wednesday evening, Likud said, after the Blue and White leader returns from a trip to London.
Netanyahu phoned Gantz to set up the appointment and offered to come to his home on Wednesday for the talks, Likud said.
The negotiators from both parties will also convene again on Wednesday morning, Netanyahu’s party said.
In a later statement, Blue and White called for direct talks between Netanyahu and Gantz, without confirming a meeting had been scheduled.