Israeli PM urges emergency unity gov't amid COVID-19 crisis-Xinhua

Israeli PM urges emergency unity gov't amid COVID-19 crisis

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-13 04:08:20

JERUSALEM, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Thursday for the formation of "an emergency national government" to address the coronavirus crisis in Israel.

In a broadcast statement on Israel's main TV channels, Netanyahu urged his main rival Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, to join forces amidst a political stalemate that has paralyzed the country's political arena over the past year.

"I call for the formation now, even this evening, of a national emergency government," he said.

"It will be an emergency government for a limited period. Together we will fight to save the lives of citizens," he added.

During the statement, Netanyahu also announced that schools and universities will be shut down.

Israeli Health Ministry said on Thursday that 109 people have been confirmed infected with COVID-19 in Israel, dozens of them were diagnosed over the past day.

Israel's parliamentary elections on March 2 led to another political deadlock after both Netanyahu and Gantz did not gain enough votes to form a coalition government.

On Sunday, President Reuven Rivlin will begin a series of consultations with heads of the factions after which he will announce which leader will he task with forming the next government.

Netanyahu's corruption trial is scheduled to begin on March 17. Netanyahu, indicted with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, is the first incumbent prime minister to stand to trial in the history of Israel.


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