​​​​​​​Annexing territories from West Bank as first steps and  future of Gants-Netanyahu partnership government 

After three rounds of inconclusive elections, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has been tasked with forming a government in partnership with Kahul Lavan party's leader Benny Gantz.

What is its impact on the Palestinians? 

Last week, the Knesset passed legislation authorizing the formation of a three-year partnership government, and under the Likud- Lavan agreement, both parties share the government and the presidency is rotated with Netanyahu first and continuing as prime minister for a year and a half. Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to present his cabinet to the Knesset this week or next for a vote of confidence.

Is the partnership government to hold up? 

By Israeli standards, Netanyahu's term as prime minister has been very long. Observers estimate that this may not be his last term either, and that the shift in Gantz' position to enter into a partnership government was after he came to the conclusion that the odds of victory were not only slim, but constantly diminished, and the opportunity was to join Netanyahu in the government.

 "Although Gants legitimizes Netanyahu and betrayed his promises and the core values on which Kahul Lavan (bloc) was founded, he will replace Netanyahu in less than two years. This is the first time in a new time being that someone is not named Netanyahu will be walking around as prime minister," Ma'ariv's political analyst, Bean Kasbet said.

Israeli observers estimate that the government to be formed is a one-person government, not a partnership one and that the agreement was in favor of saving Netanyahu's political future, following corruption charges against him. 

"The government that will be formed next week is one-person government, not two heads one, a unity , nor emergency, and all the descriptions that accompanied the formation of Netanyahu's fifth government are ashes in the eyes. The 32-year-old political life is now at its peak. No one threatens his rule, neither in his party nor in the political establishment, in the government apparatus, in the street. More precisely, Netanyahu himself does threaten himself."

According to Bernia, "Gantz is Netanyahu's easiest partner in all his governments," adding, "He is different from Ehud Barak, Avigdor Lieberman, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni. He does not mix his personal ambitions when he comes to work in the morning and uses his elbow to say hello at the time of the Corona nothing more. It is built to end the mandate; that's what military officers do. There is a certain gap between his political views and those of Netanyahu, but this gap should not bother them."

Undoubtedly, the recent change in Israel was in Netanyahu's favor, especially after the Supreme Court's decision to reject petitions against him. In this context, according to the political correspondent of the "Walla" website, Tal Shalif: "The Supreme Court has granted legitimacy to his term as head of government for the next year and a half, but the judges have not considered the two-headed mechanism of Netanyahu and Gantz in the prime minister ship, which is a new and not familiar legal status, and has not yet considered an agreement allowing the replacement prime minister (Netanyahu) to continue his term until his term if he is accused of criminal offences. Netanyahu is back in office after Gantz' term in office."

While Shalif suggested that there was a hole in the uncertainty in the agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz, and if "Netanyahu is subjected to a new court decision, such a thing could turn into an attractive pretext for the elections for him. So Netanyahu sought to include the agreement with Gantz, the possibility of dissolving the government in the event of a legal impediment in the first half of the year after signing the agreement. So, at least for the near half-year, the chances of the government dissolving and returning to zero are also there."

 Annexing parts of the West Bank

Israeli and Palestinian observers believe that Netanyahu's reassignment to form the new government has allowed him to proceed with his promised plan of annexing new parts of the West Bank and starting the "deal of the century" – the U.S. Middle East peace plan. 

According to Israeli media, Gantz and his Kahul Lavan co-leader, Gaby Ashkenazi, will try to block the implementation of a plan to annex parts of the West Bank to Israel based on the "deal of the century." 

Despite Netanyahu's determination to take the move, Israeli media reported that the Administration and U.S. President Donald Trump are opposed to the Israeli government's plan to annex areas in the West Bank at this point.

Yediot Aharonot paper reported that the Administration considers that a unilateral package offered by the Israeli government would be a blow to the U.S. "deal of the century," and would permanently close the door to the Palestinian leadership's response to the U.S. plan.

"The expected visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week, on his first foreign trip since the Corona pandemic, comes to convey the U.S. position on the issue of "annexation" to Israeli officials," paper said.

"The main purpose of Pompeo's visit is to ask and persuade the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to postpone and suspend the annexation plan indefinitely," she said adding, President Trump opposes an annexation resolution as part of a unilateral Israeli move.

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