Netanyahu convenes political allies after handing over mandate to Gantz

Gantz’s road to becoming the next prime minister will be a difficult one.

By World Israel News Staff

A meeting between the right-wing bloc and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to take place at the Prime Minister’s office tomorrow afternoon.

The right-wing bloc is the unifying faction of the Shas, United Torah Judaism, New Right, and the Jewish Home-National Union parties that is headed by Netanyahu.

On Monday, Netanyahu announced that he has given the mandate to form a government back to Israeli president Reuven Rivlin after failing to form a ruling coalition.

Netanyahu attacked Gantz for refusing to cooperate with him during the process.

“I have made all efforts to bring Benny Gantz to the negotiating table, all efforts to form a broad national unity government, all efforts to prevent another election. Unfortunately, time after time, he simply refused,” he said.

In last month’s national election, Netanyahu fell short of securing a 61-seat Knesset majority. But Rivlin gave Netanyahu the first opportunity to form a government because he had received one more recommendation by Knesset members than Gantz did.

Today Rivlin gave the nod to Gantz to attempt to form a government.

Gantz’s road to becoming the next prime minister will be a difficult one.

He now has 28 days, with the possibility of an extension upon request, to obtain the 61 seats needed to form a ruling majority.

Gantz will need the support of the Arab Joint List, which has publicly stated that it will not join a coalition.

“We want and cannot take any part in the government or the coalition,” Arab Joint List chairman Ahmed Tibi said in an interview with Israel public broadcaster, Kan Reshet Bet in September.

He will also need the support of Israel Beitenu’s leader Avigdor Liberman who has been steadfast in his refusal to sit in a coalition that includes any Arab and ultra-Orthodox parties.

If Gantz is unsuccessful in his attempts to form a government than Rivlin can either give the Knesset members 21 days to find an alternative candidate for prime minister or call for another round of elections. If no candidate is successful in forming a government, the Knesset will automatically be dissolved and a third election will take place within 90 days.