Middle East

Israel’s Netanyahu presents his unity government to parliament

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Issued on: 17/05/2020 – 12:43Modified: 17/05/2020 – 12:43

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his new unity government to parliament on Sunday, ending more than a year of political deadlock as he prepares to go on trial in a week for alleged corruption.

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His power-sharing agreement with former election rival, centrist Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, opens the way for the right-wing Netanyahu to proceed towards a pledged de facto annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, land Palestinians seek for a state.

Under his accord with Gantz, after three inconclusive elections, Netanyahu will remain prime minister for 18 months before handing over to his new partner. Gantz, a former armed forces chief, will be Netanyahu's defence minister.

"The people wanted unity, and that is what it got," Netanyahu told parliament, citing a desire to avoid a fourth election after three inconclusive ballots since April 2019, and a national battle against the coronavirus crisis.

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