Netanyahu's 180-degree U-turn came only hours before a 3:30 p.m. showdown before the High Court of Justice.
Sa'ar: Govt must be replaced; Bennett: Israel "on edge of anarchy"
The situation is so serious that the High Court may actually step in and order the government to appoint a justice minister or even delegate the authority directly to Gantz.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit updated the High Court of Justice on Sunday that the government must appoint a new permanent justice minister within days.
It remains unclear what Mandelblit meant: Does the responsibility fall to the government, or the High Court? And can't the request wait until May 2?
The justices' position echoed Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit's position from Monday night in which he came closer than ever to declaring Netanyahu unfit, but still avoided crossing that line.
The position has been empty since the start of April when Benny Gantz's three-month term as acting justice minister expired.
No major laws can be passed without a justice minister since such a minister runs the ministerial legislative committee.
The attorney-general said that the intensity of the prime minister's attacks on law enforcement had crossed lines that could serve as a basis for declaring him unfit if such deterioration continued.