17 January 2022,   11:38
Netanyahu and Gantz agree to form unity Israeli government

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his main rival, Benny Gantz, have agreed to form a national unity government, ending a year-long political crisis that has seen the country hold three back-to-back elections.

A copy of the power-sharing agreement said Netanyahu, currently the interim leader, would remain in the role for 18 months before handing over to Gantz, a former army chief, for the remainder of a three-year term.

The announcement was a stunning turnaround for Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, who appeared to be flagging in recent weeks under the strain of three damning corruption indictments and mediocre election performance.

He is now likely to remain in office throughout his upcoming corruption trial and also gain significant influence over judicial appointments. Meanwhile, Gantz’s Blue and White will take half of all ministries, including defence and foreign affairs.