Netanyahu and Gantz sign agreement for ‘national emergency government’ that keeps Netanyahu as prime minister for now

Benny Gantz, left, and Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli parliament, Nov. 10, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

By Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz signed a deal Monday to form a “national emergency government’ that keeps Netanyahu as the prime minister for now.

Israel has spent more than a year under a caretaker government as neither Netanyahu nor Gantz could assemble a coalition government. With the agreement, the country avoids a fourth national election in less than a year and a half.

Following two meetings on Monday, the two parties released a brief statement saying that “an agreement for the establishment of a national emergency government” was being signed. The announcement provided no details, though Hebrew-language media reported some details, including that Netanyahu would remain as prime minister and Gantz would be prime minister-designate.

Netanyahu and Gantz are expected to give statements later on Monday evening, which is the start of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.