Israeli PM’s rival rejects conditions for forming unity government

Israel opposition leader

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main rival party says it has rejected his demands to form a unity government under his leadership and including his right-wing and ultra-Orthodox allies.

The centrist Blue and White Party said after talks with Mr Netanyahu’s Likud that it “was made clear from the outset” that the party would reject the prime minster’s conditions.

It said the conditions are aimed at “dragging” Israel into a third round of elections, “in line with the interests of the prime minister”.

Blue and White, led by former army chief Benny Gantz, won the most seats in elections earlier this month, closely followed by Mr Netanyahu’s Likud.

Neither has enough support to assemble a 61-seat majority coalition, and they are fiercely divided over the leadership and make-up of any unity government.

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