No agreement reached during Netanyahu, Gantz talks as third election looms

No agreement was reached Tuesday night between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, who finished coalition talks at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tel Aviv after only 45 minutes, and eight days before next Wednesday night’s deadline to form a government.

The Likud complained after the meeting, which Netanyahu initiated, that Gantz did not permit Netanyahu to go first as prime minister even for a short period of time.

“In order to avoid an unnecessary election, Prime Minister Netanyahu offered to pass creative legislation that would set rules for the rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office that would prevent either side from violating them.”

The Likud said that “despite our significant concessions, Blue and White continues to prevent a unity government.” The party blamed Gantz’s No. 2, Yair Lapid, for Gantz not compromising.

In a statement after the meeting, Blue and White claimed that Netanyahu did not present “any new proposal that is commensurate with his current legal situation or election loss, or any new offer at all for that matter.”