Israel’s main opposition party has split after its leader, Benny Gantz, was elected President of Parliament with the support of his rivals, including Benjamin Netanyahu, in a stunning plot twist to a year-long political crisis.
Gantz’s surprise movement was widely interpreted as a precursor to a power-sharing agreement with the Prime Minister to form an emergency government. The Coronavirus pandemic, including more than 2,600 confirmed Israeli cases, has added urgency to break a deadlock between the two leaders.
Regardless of the outcome, Gantz took a risk by nominating himself. During the three elections, the former army chief has been campaigning focusing on promises to remove Netanyahu, who is charged with alleged corruption.
Tamar Zandberg, a member of the left-wing Meretz Party allied with blue and white, accused Gantz of abandoning millions of voters seeking an alternative to Netanyahu.
“You will end up on a mat under the feet of an alleged villain, an incitement and racist,” she said in a speech to the session. “We are overwhelmed by the depth of the fraud and shame that has plagued today.”
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