Netanyahu, Gantz nearing agreement on budget, elections - report

The parties agreed to pass a two-year budget but have yet to agree on legal issues.

NETANYAHU AND Gantz – can they put their animosity aside and serve the public? (photo credit: CORINNA KERN AMIR COHEN REUTERS)
NETANYAHU AND Gantz – can they put their animosity aside and serve the public?
(photo credit: CORINNA KERN AMIR COHEN REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party and Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz's Blue and White are nearing an agreement concerning Israel's budget, N12 reported Friday evening.

Since the budget vote was postponed, talks have been taking place between Gantz and Netanyahu, according to the media outlet.

While no overall agreement has been reached as of yet, the two sides have reportedly agreed to pass a two-year budget, as per Gantz's demand and the coalition agreement, while giving Netanyahu loopholes allowing him to dissolve the government and call an election.

Over the last several weeks, amid Netanyahu's demand to pass a one-year budget, the two parties have been blaming each other for the nearing election, as with no budget by August 25, the Knesset would automatically dissolve and a general election would be called.

According to N12, it remains unclear whether the nearing agreement will hold the coalition together until the end of its term in 2024, or whether it would postpone the possible November election several months to the future.

No progress has been reported in regard to the prime minister's demand to change the system of high-ranking appointments, dissolving the professional commission and allowing Netanyahu and the cabinet to appoint the Israel Police commissioner and state attorney.

Another key point that has reportedly seen no progress is Netanyahu's immunity from a Supreme Court ruling disqualifying him as alternate prime minister on the second half of the term.

According to N12, Blue and White are likely to allow Netanyahu to dissolve the Knesset in a case of legal intervention in the coalition agreement.