(jpost.com) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz held what was seen as a dramatic meeting on Tuesday night, 26 hours before Gantz’s mandate to form a government expires.
Prime Minister and Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement following the meeting, saying “these are the final moments of a historic decision, one that will affect the nation’s security and its future.”
“Unfortunately, today I realized in a meeting with Gantz that he was rejecting the president’s proposal and ignoring the will of most of the nation’s citizens, who want to see us form a broad national unity government together.”
He continued, saying “Gantz intends to form a minority government that relies on the avoidance of the joint Arab list.”
Gantz said after the meeting: “I have said time and time again that Israel needs a broad and liberal unity government, consisting primarily of the two major parties and led by Blue and White.”
He added, “a government whose founding lines will be set on the basis of the major parties and therefore cannot be built on the basis of one sectoral block or another.”
Gantz added: “A third round of elections is a bad thing, but basic principles and basic values cannot be waived. We will continue to make every effort and turn every stone in order to try and reach understandings and form a government, even in the remaining time, in order to prevent costly and unnecessary elections.”