Netanyahu-Gantz Coalition Government to Be Sworn in Thursday

Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz informed the Knesset on Monday that the swearing in of the new coalition government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be held this Thursday, May 14 at 1:00 P.M., according to an announcement by the Knesset's spokesperson. 

In addition, Gantz has instructed the Chairman of the Knesset's Organizing Committee to convene and determine the procedures for the meeting accordingly.

Likud and Kahol Lavan had previously released a joint statement last Wednesday saying the two parties agreed on the formation of a government and its swearing-in on Wednesday, May 13.

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Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, whose right-wing Yamina party will not be a part of the government, said, "Netanyahu doesn't want us in the government." Bennett cited his disappointment over not receiving the Health portfolio. "We've always supported the prime minister if he does the right thing. And if he doesn't, we'll be in the opposition," Bennett added.

Benny Gantz during a Knesset debate, May 7, 2020.Adina Wollman/Knesset Spokesperson’s Office

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to arrive in Israel on Wednesday as part of his first foreign trip in more than a month, and will meet in Jerusalem with both Netanyahu and Gantz, the State Department confirmed on Friday.

On Thursday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin formally tasked Netanyahu with forming a government, after securing the backing of 72 out of 120 Knesset members, including all members of Gantz's Kahol Lavan party, paving the way for the formation of a permanent government after about a year of political deadlock.

Earlier on Thursday, the Knesset approved amendments to two basic laws which allow Netanyahu's Likud and Gantz's Kahol Lavan to fulfill their coalition agreement and enshrine in law the rotation between the two men as prime minister.

This follows the High Court of Justice ruling which struck down petitions against the coalition agreement, as well as petitions to bar a lawmaker with criminal charges from forming a government.