Head of Blue and White MK Benny Gantz has returned the mandate to form the government to President Rivlin. Prime Minister Netanyahu said he is willing to negotiate with Gantz immediately and without pre conditions.

Wednesday, 20.11.19, Head of Blue and White Benny Gantz informed President Rivlin that he is returning the mandate to form the government after he was unsuccessful in forming a coalition at the end of the 28 days he was given.

After elections, because he had more recommendations from those elected, Prime Minister Netanyahu was the first given the mandate to form a government. He failed and returned the mandate.
Immediately after Gantz returned the mandate, President Rivlin gave the mandate to the Chairman of the Knesset MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud).

According to Israeli law, from the 21st of November, a majority of Members of Knesset (at least 61) can submit a written request to President Rivlin to give the mandate to form a government to any Member of Knesset (including Gantz and Netanyahu who have already had the mandate). This period lasts 21 days and will end on the 11th of december at 24:00.

From the time such a request is submitted to the President, He has two days to give the mandate to form the government to the Member of Knesset named in the request, and from the time this MK is given the mandate, the MK has 14 days to form a government.

If a request has not been submitted by a majority of the Knesset within the 21 days, the President must inform the Chairman of the Knesset that a request was not submitted and the Knesset will disperse and go to third elections.

Head of Blue and White Benny Gantz made a speech after returning the mandate and said:

“In the last few weeks we have made great efforts to form the inclusive, liberal unity government, that Israeli citizens voted for. A government that will serve everyone–religious and secular, Jews and Arabs. Those who voted for Blue and White, and those who did not. But setting up a government is not just a technical task. Forming a government is a value driven and moral imperative. It is a historic task. Set against all the stones I turned over in an attempt to achieve unity and reconciliation was a “block” that insisted on putting the personal benefit of one person before the good of patients lying in hospital corridors. Set against me was a “wall of losers” who insisted on preventing the citizens of Israel from forming a government lead by those who won and striding into a new age of political sanity and stability. There are now 21 days to realize the democratic decision that was made. These are 21 critical days during which Israel’s democracy will be put to her most important test. During these days I will make myself available to direct negotiations […] to take israel out of the total paralysis that the “block builders” have forced. That will take Israel from the Security paralysis, […] the horrible traffic jams. That will take patients out of corridors and industry out of the period of moderation threatening to take her over”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) responded to Gantz’s statement with a video posted on his Facebook page:

“For the sake of the security of Israel, for the will of the people, for reconciliation, we must form a unity government. We have a historic opportunity, but there are also significant challenges. We must not lose a single moment. And so I answer you in the following manner–I am ready to begin negotiations with you with no preconditions, in order to form a unity government. If we proceed together we will succeed”.