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Israel’s top court green lights Netanyahu-Gantz deal

Israel's Supreme Court on May 6, 2020 approved a coalition deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz.
Israel's Supreme Court on May 6, 2020 approved a coalition deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz. Oded Balilty, JACK GUEZ AFP

Israel's Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a coalition deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz.

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Israel's top court made the announcement shortly after Netanyahu and Gantz said their new coalition government would be sworn in on May 13, putting an end to Israel's longest political crisis. 

After battling out three inconclusive elections, Netanyahu and Gantz announced their “emergency” government last month, saying they would put aside their rivalry to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis. 

But critics and good-government groups said their deal was illegal and challenged it in the Supreme Court. In particular, they objected to the creation of a new position of “alternate prime minister, ” a post that will allow Netanyahu to remain in office throughout his corruption trial.

Over two days this week, the court looked at two questions: whether an indicted politician can be given authority to form a new government, and whether their power-sharing deal — which includes new legislation — was legal.

In its decision, the 11-judge panel rejected all of the challenges.

The judges ruled that while the coalition deal presents significant legal difficulties, the court would not interfere in its contents following changes submitted by Netanyahu and Gantz.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

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