Likud, Kahol Lavan Negotiation Teams Meet in ‘Last Ditch Effort’ to Form Gov’t

Israel's Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein met with the negations teams of the two major political parties Kahol Lavan and Likud Wednesday, in a last effort to form a government and prevent a third election.

Edelstein said the meetings "were conducted in a positive and good atmosphere." Both teams approved the Knesset Speaker's proposal for a joint meeting in his presence, which will be held Sunday at the Knesset.

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In the meeting, the Knesset speaker offered the two parties an outline in which Netanyahu would lead the government for a few months and then step down and allow Gantz to assume the post, which Kahol Lavan rejected.

Senior Kahol Lavan member Moshe Ya'alon said following the meeting that the party made it clear to Edelstein it would not sit in a government headed by Netanyahu as long as he's not acquitted of the charges against him. "We will not stray from our values and our committment to the electorate."

In the coming days, Edelstien will meet with additional party leaders.

Earlier Wednesday, Edelstein said "Israel is in the midst of a governmental emergency that could cause an economic and social collapse; this is the moment of truth in Israeli politics. It's time to choose between leadership and cowardice. It’s time to say enough is enough."

Kahol Lavan said they “welcome the Knesset speaker’s initiative,” adding that the party’s negotiation team will “make all efforts to prevent a third election.” Likud echoed a similar response, writing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the party's negotiation team to "accede to Edelstein's initiative immediately."