İrem UZUN -TDO- Israeli lawmakers approved the formation of a unity government between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz on Thursday, paving the way to an end to more than a year of political deadlock. According to an official statement from Knesset, the parliament approved the coalition deal by 71 votes to 37. Two leaders are expected to swear in the power-sharing government next week.
The alliance that formed last month between Netanyahu and Gantz become a reality after the High Court of Justice on Wednesday evening unanimously rejected a series of petitions seeking both to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government due to the criminal charges against him and to block controversial clauses of the coalition deal itself.
The lawmakers in the Knesset also voted in constitutional changes that would require Netanyahu to share power with his rival Benny Gantz, with the office of prime minister set to rotate between the two. A coalition agreement between Netanyahu's Likud party and Gantz's Blue and White alliance foresees Netanyahu giving the prime minister's office to Ganz after 18 months, in October 2021.