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Netanyahu, Gantz discuss creation of unity government to fight Covid-19



Prime Minister of Israel and Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu called his fellow rival and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz on Thursday to discuss the possibility of a unity government to better fight the novel coronavirus.

Both the leaders discussed the possibility of setting up a coalition government given the current situation of the pandemic. However, it is not clear if the two had come to a conclusion regarding the inclusion of the Joint List of Arab-majority parties, Times of Israel reported.

But the leaders sought to put differences aside in order to fight the spread of the deadly virus which has crippled the economy.

The Health Ministry on Thursday announced that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 109.

Israel has had three elections in less than a year, with the latest vote last week yielded another deadlock, seeing both Netanyahu and Gantz short of a parliamentary majority.

Likud party sees the Joint List as out of bounds of Israeli politics, terming its members "terror supporters", citing their opposition to Zionism and anti-Israel stances by members of Balad, one of the party's factions.

Both Netanyahu and Gantz have spoken about winning the "Jewish majority", alienating Arab minority and other minorities.

Netanyahu will also have to be present at a court on March 17 when the charges against him will be readout. He faces fraud and breach of trust charges in two cases, and bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges in a third.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, March 13 2020. 14:46 IST