Israeli Political Parties Sign Coalition Agreement to Form Emergency Unity Government (L-R) PM Netanyahu, President Ruven Rivlin Kahol Lavan’s Benny Gantz.

Only after a third nation-wide election in eleven months (April 2019, September 2019 and March 2020) were Israel’s two major political parties able to form a coalition government led by Likud and Blue and White political party leaders. Rather than a regularly expected four-year term for the government, this coalition agreement planned for three years, with each of the major party leaders, (incumbent Likud PM Netanyahu and Blue and White’s Benny Gantz) holding the premiership in a rotation for 18 months each. The Covid-19 pandemic in Israel catalyzed the coalition formation and rotation agreement as well as a common interest not to have the country go to another national election. Prior national unity governments were formed in times of national crisis, prior to the June 1967 War and in the midst of a massive national economic battering with triple digit inflation in the 1980s and again later in the decade. PM Netanyahu’s pending legal proceeding impacted the decision to form the national unity-rotation government. Kahol Lavan explained the government’s formation was due to “the special circumstances dictated because of the combination of the coronavirus pandemic, the constitutional crisis and the requirement to heal Israeli society.” On May 7, 2020 a bill approving the new government was passed into law with full Knesset approval. On May 17, the new government was sworn in. Source.