Israel’s Netanyahu, Gantz say near unity deal to end political deadlock

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and political rival Benny Gantz were nearing a deal on Tuesday to form a national emergency government to battle the coronavirus crisis and end the country’s unprecedented political deadlock.

Gantz’s 28-day mandate to put together a ruling coalition after last month’s inconclusive election was due to expire at midnight, but President Reuven Rivlin, who is overseeing the coalition talks, extended it for two days.

Rivlin did so, his office said, “on the understanding that they are very close to reaching an agreement.”

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