May 6, 2020 - World

Israel's high court allows Netanyahu to form government despite indictments

Protestor holding picture of Netanyahu and Gantz
A protester carries a placard with a picture of Netanyahu (R) and Gantz Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court of Israel has unanimously struck down petitions seeking to block Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted on corruption charges, from forming a coalition government with his former rival Benny Gantz.

Why it matters: The decision paves the way for the new government to be sworn in on May 13, bringing an end to more than a year of political deadlock in which Israel was forced to hold three consecutive elections.

The big picture: As part of the deal between Netanyahu and Gantz, Netanyahu will stay on as prime minister for at least another 18 months even as his corruption trial gets underway. The position will then rotate to Gantz, though many of Netanyahu's critics don't trust the longtime Israeli leader to leave office.

  • The coalition deal posits that Netanyahu can bring "the understandings with the Trump administration" about West Bank annexations up for debate in the cabinet, and potentially for a vote in parliament after July 1.
  • Netanyahu views the annexations as critical to his legacy, but they're widely opposed by many players in the international community. The Trump administration has told Israel it won't support the annexations unless Israel agrees to negotiate over a Palestinian state and fully endorses its Middle East peace plan.

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