Gantz meets with Liberman, Joint List to discuss minority government

Blue & White, Yisrael Beytenu leaders devise guidelines for potential government and prevent fourth election; Gantz meets with Arab lawmakers, excluding Balad faction
Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz met on Monday with Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman and the leaders of the predominately-Arab Joint List, excluding the Balad faction, in order to discuss the formation of a minority government.
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  • During the former IDF chief's meeting with Liberman, both party leaders devised clear guidelines for a potential government in order to avoid a fourth election round in a year.
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    בני גנץ אביגדור ליברמן
    בני גנץ אביגדור ליברמן
    Benny Gantz and Avigdor Liberman
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    "We have just concluded a very productive meeting," said Gantz. "We discussed the ground principles and decided to cooperate on forming a new government meant to serve Israel and prevent a fourth election."
    "It was a truly great meeting," said Liberman. "Only after President Reuven Rivlin receives the final election results, and tasks one of the candidates to form a government, we will proceed in an orderly fashion to form a government and prevent further elections."
    Blue & White later released a statement saying the party aims to form a government as quickly as possible while guaranteeing key positions for members of the right-wing bloc, led by Likud's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Gantz also met with right-leaning Blue & White MKs Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser to ensure their support of a minority government, although sources close to the party claim the two refused to commit to such a move.
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    יועז הנדל ריאיון אולפן ynet
    יועז הנדל ריאיון אולפן ynet
    Blue & White MK Yoaz Hendel
    (Photo: Avi Moalem)
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    צבי האוזר
    צבי האוזר
    Blue & White MK Zvi Hauser
    (Photo: Idan Arbel)
    Blue & White co-leader Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon said that if Hendel and Hauser refuse to support such a government, "they are welcome to resign."
    Blue & White later issued a statement saying that Ya'alon's remarks were not an ultimatum of any sort for the two lawmakers.
    Meanwhile, Netanyahu is set to launch an internet campaign against the establishment of a minority government in the coming days.
    Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri signed members of the right-wing bloc, which consists of nationalist and religious parties, on a document saying they will not seat in the same government with the Joint List.
    "They are supporters of terrorism, who actively oppose the idea of Israel as a country for the Jewish people," Deri said.
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    הגשה רשימות מפלגות לכנסת ה-23
    הגשה רשימות מפלגות לכנסת ה-23
    The Joint List
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Gantz also met with the leaders of the predominately Arab Joint List, where he reiterated his intent to form a minority government "that will serve all the citizens of Israel, Jewish and Arab."
    Chairman of the Balad party Mtanes Shehadeh, one of four parties constituting the Joint List alliance, was excluded from the meeting.
    "I didn’t expect Gantz to call, so I wasn't surprised," said Shehadeh. "We still have many voters on our side and are working to serve their interests, which is first and foremost, to oust Netanyahu."
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