Netanyahu considering plan to cancel Israel’s September election and form unity government


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering a proposal to cancel the September election in Israel amid reports of a potential unity government.

It is not clear whether it is legally possible to call off the election, which was set after the Knesset voted at the end of May to dissolve and move to new elections in the wake of Netanyahu’s inability to form a new government.

But Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein is pushing to cancel the Sept. 17 elections — and says he has a way to do it.

“I found a parliamentary framework and there is an option to cancel the most unnecessary elections in Israel’s history,” he tweeted Tuesday. “It is our obligation to allow the 21st Knesset to keep working.”

The Blue and White party has said it would not agree to cancel new elections and form a unity government with the Likud party unless Netanyahu steps down, which he shows no signs of doing, so it is not clear what canceling new elections will achieve.

“Netanyahu realizes that he is about to lose the elections and is now looking for magic solutions,” a Blue and White statement issued Tuesday said. “We are going to hold elections, and Benny Gantz will be Israel’s next prime minister.” Gantz, a former military chief of staff, leads the party.

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