Netanyahu Challenges Gantz to Join Government to Annex Jordan Valley

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Gush Etzion Regional Council Chairman Shlomo Ne’eman, and Jordan Valley regional council chairman David Elchiani, as he visits the Jewish settlement of Alon Shvut, in Gush Etzion, in the West Bank, on November 19, 2019. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ threw down a fresh challenge to Blue and White Leader Benny Gantz ahead of their meeting to salvage a unity government on Tuesday night.

In a video statement, Netanyahu urged Gantz and Yisrael Beteynu’s Avigdor Liberman to join him in a unity government that will “keep Israel safe and annex the Jordan Valley.”

“We have a one-time opportunity to establish the eastern border of Israel. The people and history will not forgive those who fail to seize this opportunity,” Netanyahu said, a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dramatic announcement of U.S. support for the legality of Israeli communities in Yehudah and Shomron.

Meanwhile, Blue and White leaders Moshe Yaalon and Gabi Ashkenazi will not sit in a government with Binyamin Netanyahu, Ynet reported on Tuesday night, quoting senior party officials.

Until now, media reports have singled out the party’s No. 2, Yair Lapid, as the main impediment to joining with Netanyahu. However, Lapid has not said publicly that he would refuse to join in the event that Gantz reaches a deal with the PM.

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