Netanyahu and Gantz agree to form emergency Israel government – statement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, September 27, 2023. ABIR SULTAN/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Defense Chief Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist opposition party, have reached an agreement to establish an emergency government, as stated in a joint announcement by Gantz’s National Unity party on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, gunmen from the Islamist group Hamas conducted a sudden incursion into Israel from the Gaza Strip, resulting in a devastating attack that claimed the lives of at least 1,200 individuals. This marks the deadliest Palestinian militant assault in Israel’s history.

In response, Israel launched a significant offensive against Gaza, causing the death of 1,055 people, while also deploying a substantial number of troops around the enclave. There are mounting expectations of a ground invasion aimed at eradicating Hamas.

The parties have consented to create a war cabinet, which will include Netanyahu, Gantz, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as specified in the statement. Throughout the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, they commit not to pursue any unrelated policies or enact new laws.

At this juncture, there is no anticipation of opposition leader Yair Lapid joining the emergency government.

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