Israel's Netanyahu, Gantz Sign Deal To Form Emergency Government

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Israel's Netanyahu, Gantz Sign Deal To Form Emergency Government
Under the deal, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz would take turns serving as prime minister and vice prime minister.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, have signed an agreement to form a national emergency government to combat the coronavirus. 

Under the deal, Netanyahu and Gantz would take turns leading Israel: Netanyahu would serve as prime minister for another 18 months while Gantz served as vice prime minister. Then, Gantz would take over and Netanyahu would be vice prime minister.

The Jerusalem Post reports the new coalition is expected to have an equal number of center-right and center-left ministers and deputies.

On Twitter, Gantz and Netanyahu promised to protect their government, fight the coronavirus and take care of the people of Israel. 

The country has been in a political deadlock for more than a year, during which time there were three general elections. If an agreement wasn't reached by May 7, it would have had a fourth. And that could still happen: Israel's president has to give Netanyahu a mandate to form a government, and a court could find that mandate illegal due to the criminal indictments against the PM. In that case, Israelis would head back to the polls.