An emergency government was formed on Wednesday afternoon after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Unity leader Benny Gantz met at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv earlier in the morning.
The meeting lasted half an hour after which lawyers representing the Likud and National Unity stayed behind to finalize the details.
As part of the deal, Gantz and fellow party member Gadi Eisenkot will be sworn in as ministers and will join a war cabinet with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
There has been a widespread call for an emergency government in Israel since Netanyahu declared war on Hamas on Saturday following their massive attack on Israel that morning.
Gantz was immediately joined by opposition leader Yair Lapid and Yisrael Beyteny leader Avigdor Liberman in saying that they would be willing to join an emergency government. Coalition members also expressed support for the move.
Israeli soldiers patrol in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 11, 2023 (credit: FLASH90/CHAIM GOLDBERG)
Netanyahu and Gantz have held multiple meetings over the past few days to discuss the details of the emergency government, but five days in, no such thing had been formed.
One point of contention is a war cabinet suggested by Gantz that would include Netanyahu, Gallant, and two other coalition representatives together with Gantz and Eisenkot, both of whom are former IDF chiefs of staff.
Gantz’s plan would exclude Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir – a move that the latter took issue with.