Is Netanyahu holding firm on red lines? Conflicting reports as unity talks enter final day

“We support the prime minister’s refusal to back down from the right-wing bloc’s red lines with regards to sovereignty and the appointment of judges,” the Yemina party said.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

With the deadline for the formation of a new government rapidly approaching, conflicting reports have emerged on whether or not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to compromise on key issues.

Arutz 7 reports that Netanyahu promised the right-wing Yamina party on Sunday night that he will hold fast to what have reportedly become the two main sticking points in his negotiations with Blue and White’s Benny Gantz.

Namely, Netanyahu said that he would not compromise on the issue of Supreme Court justices and on having a free hand to advance Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

The Yemina party, which is to the right of Likud, responded, “We support the prime minister’s refusal to back down from the right-wing bloc’s red lines with regards to sovereignty and the appointment of judges.”

“Abandoning the Judicial Selection Committee to the Left will be something we mourn for generations and will restart the judicial revolution begun by [former Supreme Court Chief Justices Aharon] Barak and [Dorit] Beinisch,” the party warned.

Yemina also said that Gantz must remember that he leads a minority party of 17 members of Knesset, while Netanyahu leads a bloc of 59.

In contrast, Kan Bet reported Monday morning that Netanyahu’s Likud party had in fact agreed to compromise with Blue and White on legislative changes regarding the Judicial Selection Committee.

Gantz has been negotiating with Netanyahu over the formation of a unity government since late March, after promising repeatedly that he would never join in a government led by Netanyahu.

Gantz received the mandate to form a government from President Reuven Rivlin four weeks ago, after a recommendation by the Joint Arab List gave him the support of a slight majority of Knesset members.

That mandate ends on April 13 at midnight, and President Rivlin has rejected Gantz’s request for a two-week extension.

If there is no agreement before the deadline, Rivlin will send the mandate directly to the Knesset, which can then either elect one of its members to form a new government or send the country to an unprecedented fourth round of elections.