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Pandemic spurs political breakthrough in Israel

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/21/20, 07:32 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz on Monday announced a deal that ends more than a year of political gridlock. The country had held three consecutive elections without any political party winning enough seats to form a government. The coronavirus pandemic renewed pressure on the leaders to form a governing coalition that can respond to the crisis.

What does the agreement involve? The deal sets up a three-year power-sharing period in which Netanyahu will remain prime minister for the first 18 months. Gantz will lead for the second half, and his Blue and White party will take control of some government ministries, including defense and foreign affairs. Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud party will both approve key appointments, including the state prosecutor and attorney general.

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report on Israel’s crucial political tests during the pandemic.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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