Benny Gantz rebukes Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to form unity coalition

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a major political setback on Thursday when his chief rival, Benny Gantz, rejected his offer to form a unity coalition together.

Netanyahu reached out to Gantz Thursday in a video clip in which he asked the Blue and White party leader to help him “set up a broad unity government,” “demonstrate responsibility” and “pursue cooperation.” Gantz responded to Netanyahu’s request by saying he would only lead a “liberal” coalition, a statement which excluded the ultra-Orthodox political bloc on whom Netanyahu has relied throughout his tenure.

Moshe Yaalon, another Blue and White leader, added that the party would not enter into a coalition led by Netanyahu because of the corruption charges against him. Netanyahu replied that he was “surprised and disappointed” by the response from Gantz’s team.

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