President Reuven Rivlin has tasked Blue & White party leader Benny Gantz with forming a government. "At the conclusion of the consultations I held with the parties, 61 members of Knesset expressed their wish that the task of forming a government should be imposed on MK Gantz," Rivlin said at the ceremony today. "The law allows 28 days. That's a short time. But in present circumstances, at a time of national emergency, it's also too long a period. The greatness of the hour and the challenges we face make it imperative to form a government for the people in Israel."
Rivlin said that the government that arises may require intermediate arrangements. "I have no doubt that that is what the people expect. A fourth election is impossible, and the keys are in your hands," he told Gantz.
Accepting the mandate from the president, Gantz said, "Israel finds itself in a difficult crisis. Mothers and fathers perturbed by a mysterious virus are protecting their children and themselves. Some have already lost their jobs, and some are liable to be informed that they are being laid off shortly. Grandfathers and grandmothers find themselves alone, which at this time has become all the harder. Alongside all this is a medical workforce whose courage and heroism in saving life deserves to be saluted by us all. These are doctors and nurses, Jews and Arabs, all of them belonging to all of us.
"In times like these, leaders are called upon to put aside any personal consideration. I give you my word that I will give my all to form a patriotic, broad government within a few days, a government in which I will serve the voters of all parties, on the left and the right, and the citizens of Israel as a whole. A government in which I will protect the interests of settlers in Judea and Samaria, Arab citizens, those living in outlying areas, and those living in the center. I will form a government that will cure us of the coronavirus and cure us of division and hatred."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 16, 2020
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