Pre-holiday Talks on Israeli Unity Government Go Nowhere
Teams from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Blue and White alliance headed by challenger Benny Gantz adjourned on Sunday before the start of the Rosh Hashana holiday without making progress toward a unity government. Netanyahu was given a mandate to form the country’s next government but lacks sufficient support to form the narrow right-wing coalition he’d prefer. Gantz, for his part, is proving hard to get, saying he won’t sit in a government with anyone facing criminal prosecution. On Wednesday, Netanyahu’s lawyers are scheduled to meet with Israel’s attorney-general in a last-ditch effort to head off expected indictments against the prime minister stemming from three corruption cases that have been dogging him for the past two years. He reportedly will hand back the mandate earlier than expected – perhaps even this week – in what analysts say is a critical effort at timing aimed at stalling the indictment process.
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