Netanyahu will remain prime minister after reaching a government agreement with Gantz

The Israeli leader will leave office in 18 months
A combined photo shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White

REUTERS/RONEN ZVULUN AND AMIR COHEN/ARCHIVE  -   A combined photo shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White

Benjamin Netanyahu will remain head of the Israeli government for a year and a half, a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Likud party confirmed to Efe. At the end of those 18 months, he will be succeeded by the centrist Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party, who now serves as Speaker of the Knesset. 

The two leaders have managed to reach an agreement to form a coalition Executive. The pact between the two politicians puts an end to a blockade that has lasted for more than a year. Israel will thus have a government after the failed negotiations that led to repeat elections three times in the country.  

A few weeks ago, both had already stated that a unitary government would help to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. However, Gantz's approach to Netanyahu was seen as a betrayal by large sections of the centre and the left, including by members of his own electoral list, which ended up being split in two.

With this agreement, the new cabinet remains to be determined. In the coming months, it will also become clear what capacity Gantz will have to influence Netanyahu's political line, until now very much to the right.