Benjamin Netanyahu informs Israeli President of formation of government

Tel Aviv [Israel], May 14 (ANI): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday notified President Reuven Rivlin that he had formed a government, bringing to an end nearly 18 months of a political deadlock.

"I managed to form a government," he wrote, asking Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz to convene the Knesset to hold a vote of confidence, The Times of Israel reported.The oath-taking ceremony is scheduled for Thursday evening.

Last week, Israel Supreme Court had allowed Netanyahu to form a government despite having corruption charges against him.

The court unanimously had rejected petitions that sought to disqualify Netanyahu because he faces prosecution on felony corruption charges, The New York Times reported.

The court has also declined to block the unusual power-sharing agreement between Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the former army chief. The two agreed to swap roles after 18 months.

This comes weeks before a trial against Nethanyahu on the charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges is set to begin on May 24.

Their agreement calls for a narrow focus on issues related to the coronavirus at first, with one exception: Their government may take up the annexation of land in the occupied West Bank, a long-sought goal of the Israeli right, as early as July.

As per the deal, Netanyahu will remain the Prime Minister for 18 months and Gantz will take over the reins in a rotation deal that will be bound by country's laws.

Until then, Gantz will serve as Israel's Defence Minister and Blue and White Party member Gabi Ashkenazi will serve as the country's Foreign Minister. (ANI)