Just a few hours before the scheduled swearing-in Thursday evening of the 35th government of the State of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz announced in a joint statement that there would be a delay in the ceremony – until Sunday.
Netanyahu asked Gantz, leader of the Blue & White party, for the delay. Gantz has withdrawn his resignation as Knesset Speaker in response, and will wait until the swearing-in takes place before resubmitting the document.
The announcement, first reported by Israeli Channel 13 News correspondent Barak Ravid, followed difficulties with finalizing ministerial appointment agreements between the prime minister and a number of Likud lawmakers.
Two party MKs – Avi Dichter and Tzachi Hanegbi – also announced they would not attend the evening’s proceedings. Both men are boycotting the ceremony because they were not offered ministerial posts.
Ministerial appointments made by Gantz seem to have proceeded apace without any corresponding drama.