Israel’s Supreme court, on May 6, approved a collation deal between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, dismissing any speculations of fourth elections in the country. This has paved way for the Unity government, formed last month between the right-wing incumbent and his centrist challenger, to be sworn in next week.
The Unity government is a three-year deal, according to which Netanyahu would serve as the country’s prime minister for 18 months. He will then swap potions with Benny Gantz, who will hold the newly created office of Israel's Premier till then. In addendum, the cabinet positions would be split between the current Leader’s Likud party and Gantz’s Blue and White alliance as well as their respective allies. According to a joint statement released by both the parties, the new government will be sworn in on May 13.
According to reports, the new position will enjoy all the trappings of the Prime Minister, including an official residence and an exemption from a law that requires all public officials, except a prime minister, to resign if charged with a crime. The court will be tasked with ruling on this arrangement.
Netanyahu has been previously charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of scandals in which he is accused of offering favours to media moguls in exchange for favourable press coverage. He denies the accusations and says he is the victim of a media-orchestrated witch hunt. However, this was pointed by the pact's opponents who sought to torpedo it in court, arguing Netanyahu should be barred from forming a government. But the Supreme court ruled that "there was no legal reason to prevent the formation of a government" led by Netanyahu.
This comes as Israel is facing a surging threat from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A total of 16,310 people been infected and 239 have died as of now.