Israel 'on its way to third election', senior political official says

Israel 'on its way to third election', senior political official says
Israel is on its way to a third election as Netanyahu and Gantz fail to come up with an agreement for a unity government.
2 min read
05 November, 2019
Netanyahu's charges are an 'obstacle' in achieving a unity government [Getty]
Israel is on its way to its third election of the year after talks between incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz, a senior political official told Israeli media on Monday.

The source, who spoke to Israel Hayom, said the chances of establishing a unity government are almost nil, with Netanyahu's legal battle with corruption charges being the main obstacle when trying to form the unity government.

"The unity government is dead and Israel is on its way to a third election," the official is quoted as saying.

Comment: Palestinian hopes don't lie in Israel's election, but in America 2020

The comments come a week after Gantz said Netanyahu is not willing to seriously discuss "the basic guidelines of a unity government." 

Gantz said in a party meeting last Monday that he would continue to work toward forging such a government, a day after sitting down with rival Netanyahu to try and put together a coalition government in the wake of two inconclusive general elections.

It was their first round of direct talks since President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday tasked ex-military chief Gantz with trying to form a government.

A key point of contention in negotations is whether Gantz or Netanyahu will hold the position of prime minister first in a rotation agreement. 

Following the deadlocked elections on 17 September, Netanyahu had tried to form a coalition, but finally gave up on 21 October - his second such failure this year.

Likud has been seeking to negotiate based on a compromises set out by Rivlin that takes into account the possibility the premier will be indicted for corruption in the coming weeks.

It could see him remain prime minister for now, but step aside at some point later as he combats the charges.