‘We are looking forward to work with the new Israeli government once it is sworn in’, EU spokesperson tells #EJP

Blue and White member Gabi Ashkenazi  will serve as Foreign Minister for the first 18 months before being replaced by someone from Likud, writes  

The sides agreed that as of 1 July 2020, the government and/or the Knesset can vote on annexing parts of the West Bank, on the basis of the Trump plan.

According to the agreement, the adoption of the Trump plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace will be done in coordination with the US. The joint US-Israel committee, set up following the release of the Trump plan in January 2020, is expected to complete their mapping of the West Bank soon. According to the agreement, they will also “engage in dialogue” with the international community “with the aim of preserving security and strategic interests including regional security, preserving existing peace agreements and working towards future peace agreements”.

“We are looking forward to work with the government when it is sworn in,’’ an EU spokesperson when asked about a reaction from the European Union on the announcement that Israel will soon have a new “emergency national unity government’’ after an agreement was signed on Monday between Likud and Blue and White, putting an end to a 17-month political stalemate that resulted in three elections.

Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will serve as Prime Minister for the first 18 months, after which Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who will first serve as defence minister and deputy prime minister, will automatically rotate in to become prime minister.

Blue and White member Gabi Ashkenazi  will serve as Foreign Minister for the first 18 months before being replaced by someone from Likud.

Usually we don’t do comments when agreements are announced about coalitions. Usually what happens on the diplomatic level you know that when the government is in place then the Commission  sends out invitations. So we don’t do anything pro-actively at this stage.Only if you ask as a question, we would answer in a very general terms that we are looking forward to work with the new government,’’ Peter Stano, EU spokesperson for foreign affairs told European Jewish Press (EJP). ‘’That’s we do every time when asked about these comments for almost every country in the world.’’

The government will initially have 32 ministers, divided equally between the Netanyahu-led and Gantz-led blocs. The Likud and its right-wing partners will receive the Finance, Health, Internal Security, Construction, Transportation and Education portfolios. Blue and White will receive the Defence, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Economy, Communications and Culture portfolios. The Knesset speaker will be a member of the Likud for the whole duration of the government.

The coalition is initially expected to include 72 Mmebers of thr Knesset (MKs), Israel’s parliament: Likud with 36 MKs, Shas with 9, United Torah Judaism (UTJ) with 7, and Orly Levy-Abekasis. Blue and White have 15 MKs, as well as Derech Eretz’s Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel, and Labour’s Amir Peretz and Itzik Shmuli, for a total of 19 MKs.

The rotation of prime minister will happen automatically, without requiring a separate vote or decision. Each man will be the other’s “acting prime minister.” An official residence will be provided for the acting Prime Minister.

Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will serve as Prime Minister for the first 18 months, after which Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who will first serve as Defence Minister and Deputy Prime minister, will automatically rotate in to become Prime Minister.

The government will focus almost exclusively on handling the coronavirus crisis for the first six months.  In that time, the sides will negotiate a broader legislative agenda and will also refrain from making major appointments, including the attorney general and police commissioner.

The sides agreed that as of 1 July 2020, the government and/or the Knesset can vote on annexing parts of the West Bank, on the basis of the Trump plan.

This will be the largest government in Israel’s history, with an initial 32 ministers, rising to 36 after six months. It is the first time in 36 years that Israel will have a rotating Prime Minister.

According to the agreement, the adoption of the Trump plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace will be done in coordination with the US. The joint US-Israel committee, set up following the release of the Trump plan in January 2020, is expected to complete their mapping of the West Bank soon. According to the agreement, they will also “engage in dialogue” with the international community “with the aim of preserving security and strategic interests including regional security, preserving existing peace agreements and working towards future peace agreements”.


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