Blue and White demands that Netanyahu drop ministries

Gantz: I trust law enforcement to do its job without fear.

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu. He cannot be a unifier (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu. He cannot be a unifier
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must resign from his other portfolios immediately, Blue and White wrote in a letter to him and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on Friday.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz wrote on Facebook soon after, in light of Netanyahu facing corruption charges, that he trusts the legal authorities to do its job without fear.
The faction’s letter came the day after Mandelblit announced Netanyahu’s indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Ministers who are not the prime minister must resign if they are indicted.
“On the basis of a Supreme Court decision, a minister who has been indicted may not continue to hold office,” the party wrote. “Therefore, it is imperative that you vacate the ministerial positions you hold in the government of Israel.”
Netanyahu is currently Health Minister, Diaspora Affairs Minister, Agriculture and Labor and Social Services Minister. He holds the first portfolio while UTJ leader Ya’acov Litzman is a deputy minister with the power of a minister, for ideological reasons. The other ministries belonged to MKs who resigned or were fired during the interim government that has been in place for almost a year.
Gantz wrote on Facebook that Thursday, when Netanyahu was indicted, was a “very sad evening for the State of Israel, and for me personally, as I’ve known Netanyahu for years and worked with him.
“It’s important for all of us to internalize that Israel is a country of laws and every citizen is equal before them. I would like to support law enforcement today: Continue doing your work without fear.”
Gantz also said that he will keep trying in the coming weeks to put together a majority coalition of MKs who will back him as prime minister. He said he is willing to make compromises, but he will not give up on his basic values.
“I am in politics for almost a year, and I am waiting for the moment in which we will stop dealing with what separates us and start dealing with what really interests the people of Israel, taking care of the elderly, the health system, our children’s education, and, of course, standing up to the security challenges that are before us. I will do all I can to reach this moment as soon as possible,” he wrote.
On Thursday, Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz instructed his party’s lawyers to petition the High Court of Justice to require Netanyahu to take leave of the Prime Minister’s Office due to his criminal charges.
“Netanyahu’s indictments are the reason we don’t have a government,” Peretz said. “In a democracy, we cannot accept a prime minister under indictment.”
Peretz argued that if Netanyahu is moved out of the way, a government can be formed and a third election in less than a year can be averted.
Labor’s leader team is led by MK Revital Swid.