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Netanyahu gets cold feet on unity government for Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has backed away from the unity government plan even after Blue and White leader Benny Gantz agreed to many of his conditions.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 17:  Workers hang a Blue and White Party billaboard showing its leader Benny Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as part of the party's campaign on February 17, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. In two weeks Israelis will head to the polls for the third election in less than a year.  (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Four copies of the coalition agreement for a new unity government were printed on the afternoon of April 6. But suddenly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retracted his agreement on who would sit on the Committee for the Appointment of Judges, signaling that negotiations had broken down. Netanyahu changed his mind while the various news channels were busy reporting on the creation of a “coronavirus government,” in which Netanyahu would end his term in office in another 18 months, and be replaced by Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz.

On April 3, Netanyahu and Gantz met for hours on the famous patio in the prime minister’s house on Balfour Street, while maintaining a safe distance in accordance with the Health Ministry's guidelines. Most of their political and legal advisers were on the phone. Obstacles were removed one after another. The overall mood was that a great event was about to take place. Both sides seemed to want to make a deal before the Passover holiday, so they both made important concessions.

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