Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Beni Gantz have reached an agreement to form a joint emergency government of national unity and a war cabinet. This initiative was put forward by the far-right coalition ruling in Israel.
Netanyahu and Gantz issued a joint statement in which they announced that a “war management” cabinet would be formed. In addition to Netanyahu and Gantz, it will include Defense Minister Joav Galant and two other high-ranking government officials who will serve as “observer” members. These will be former Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, General Gadi Eisenkot, and Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer.
The vacant position in the war government was left for former Prime Minister Jair Lapid, leader of the opposition Jest Przyszłość party.
It was also agreed that during the war against Hamas, no laws or government resolutions that would not be related to war management would be passed in the Knesset.
Obtaining legitimacy to go to war with Hamas
According to the authorities of Likud, Netanyahu’s party, after the murder of over a thousand civilians and soldiers in a Hamas attack and the taking of over 100 hostages by terrorists, the prime minister needs the presence of opposition members in the new government to gain legitimacy for the war with Hamas, which may be long and difficult.
Beni Gantz was formerly Speaker of the Israeli Parliament and Minister of Defense. He was once considered the greatest political enemy of the current head of government.
Reactions of members of the Israeli government
Current members of Netanyahu’s cabinet expressed their satisfaction with the formation of a war-time government. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir wrote on Platform X (the former Twitter) that he “welcomes unity, now we must win.”
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jariv Levin stated that the agreement “is right and necessary – from now on we will cooperate.”
– The State of Israel has a unity government, said Economy Minister Nir Barkat. – We must join forces, provide support to the soldiers and work as one team until the complete victory of the State of Israel over the enemy – he added.
Main photo source: TAL SHAHAR / POOL / PAP / EPA