World, Middle East

Talks on forming Israeli coalition government hit snag

Negotiations halted after disagreement over appointment of judges arises

Anees Barghouthy   | 07.04.2020
Talks on forming Israeli coalition government hit snag


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz announced a breakthrough Monday in talks to form the next government, but they later became deadlocked over the appointment of judges.

According to Israel’s Haaretz daily, Netanyahu and Gantz agreed on the terms regarding how Israel would purse possible annexation of the West Bank by a government led by their two parties.

Agreement on the issue appeared to have almost completely cleared the way for a unity government.

“Netanyahu would be able to bring a proposal for annexing parts of the West Bank to a cabinet vote this summer, but only if the United States backs the move and if it is done in coordination with other international players,” the newspaper said.

Once approved by the cabinet, the proposal will also require approval by the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and then the full Knesset.

But later Monday, the Blue and White party announced that a disagreement had arisen over the appointment of judges.

“After reaching understandings on all issues, the Likud party asked to re-open discussions regarding the committee to appoint judges,” it said in a statement.

“As a result of Likud’s request, the negotiations have been halted. Any change in the functioning of the judiciary will harm democracy,” it added.

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