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The two leaders agreed to form a war government that includes Netanyahu, Gantz, and Defense Minister Yoav Galant.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and centrist opposition leader Benny Gantz agreed to form an emergency unity government.
A joint statement from the National Unity Party led by Gantz on Wednesday said that Netanyahu and Gantz, the former defense minister and army chief of staff, agreed to form a war government that includes Netanyahu, Gantz, and Defense Minister Yoav Galant.
The statement said that the unity government will not promote any irrelevant policy or laws except those related to the ongoing fighting with Hamas in Gaza.
It was not immediately clear what would happen to Netanyahu’s current partners in government, a group of far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that former Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer will serve as observers.
Over the past few months, Israel has been mired in internal political turmoil over efforts by Netanyahu’s government to advance proposed reforms to the country’s judiciary, which opponents have described as an attempt to assert control of the judiciary in a “judicial coup.” .
Netanyahu and his allies have accused the massive protest movement that has taken to the streets over the past few months of endangering national cohesion in response to what they advocated as a series of justified reforms.
The announcement comes as Israel escalates its attacks on Gaza, following an unprecedented attack on southern Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which killed at least 1,200 Israelis, many of them civilians, and shook the country’s confidence.
Israeli officials have vowed a crushing response, cutting off access to water, fuel and electricity for 2.3 million Palestinians living in the blockaded Gaza Strip, where a blockade first imposed by Israel in 2007 has worsened humanitarian conditions.
Human rights groups have said that depriving occupied populations of basic necessities is a war crime.
The Israeli air strikes that targeted the Gaza Strip killed at least 1,055 people and injured 5,184 others, according to Palestinian officials.
This is a breaking story. More to follow.
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