After 5 days of fighting: Gantz, Netanyahu form emergency government

Prime minister, head of opposition National Unity party announced the emergency government, in which 5 members of Gantz's party will serve as "ministers without portfolio" for the duration of the war; Gantz will be a member of the war cabinet along with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Netanyahu; They also reserved a place for Lapid, if he decides to join

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the chairman of the National Unity party Benny Gantz announced Wednesday afternoon the establishment of an emergency government, five days after the start of the war. The two met Wednesday morning for about three hours and arrived at these agreements: a "war management cabinet" will be established, which will have only three members: Netanyahu, Gantz and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Former IDF chief of staff and member of Natiuonal Unity Gadi Eisenkot as well as Minister Ron Dermer will serve as observers in the limited cabinet.
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Knesset member Gideon Sa'ar will enter the expanded political-security cabinet, as will Knesset members Chili Trooper and Yifat Shasha Biton, who will be appointed ministers without portfolio. Netanyahu and Gantz made it clear in their joint announcement that they have reserved a place in the reduced cabinet for Opposition Leader Yair Lapid as well, if he decides to join. The last section of the agreement states that: "During the war period, no bills or government decisions will be advanced that do not pertain to the conduct of the war. All senior appointments will be automatically extended during the war period."
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   Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu form an emergency government
   Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu form an emergency government
Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu form an emergency government
(Photos: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun/Pool, Moti Kimchi)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Yariv Levin called the agreement a "necessary and correct act." The Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir also "welcomes the unity, now we have to win."
Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar announced that "God willing, there is a unity government for the State of Israel," adding: "Now, we are all together for victory in the war and the complete destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. This is what the people of Israel expected from us - because only together will we win." Likud Minister Nir Barkat also welcomed the step and said that "at a time like this we must unite, support the IDF soldiers and act as one until the complete victory of the State of Israel over the enemy. With God's help, together we will win."
Those around Gantz were actually pessimistic about the meeting, and received signals that Netanyahu would not agree to his demand to form a limited cabinet to manage the war, but in the end Netanyahu agreed to this demand. After the meeting, and following reports that she was the one delaying Gantz's entry into the cabinet, the prime minister's wife Sara Netanyahu said in a statement: "Unity is the order of the hour."
The other opposition leaders are currently out of the emergency government: Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid party set as a condition for entering the government the removal of Ben-Gvir from the National Security Ministry, and the stripping of Bezalel Smotrich's powers in Judea and Samaria. There has been no coordination between Gantz and Lapid in recent days.
As with Lapid, no talks were held with the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman about entering the emergency government. In the meantime, Likud is giving up on Lieberman's entry into the emergency government, even though the condition he set for entering the government - the dissolution of Hamas in Gaza - is accepted by the entire right. As for Merav Michaeli, the leader of the Labor Party made it clear that she would support the government in the war regardless of the establishment of an emergency government.
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