The Israeli Supreme Court is considering a request to prevent right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu from chairing the new government, as he is charged with three cases related to corruption, deception and breach of trust, and will also determine whether the formation of a unity government between him and Benny Gantz is a legal process.
According to Walid Al-Omari, director of the Al-Jazeera office in Jerusalem, the court will meet today and tomorrow with the highest judicial body that is composed of 11 judges.
The court will rule on the petitions submitted by opposition parties and human rights organizations demanding that the coalition agreement between Netanyahu (Likud) and "Blue and White" led by Gantz be canceled, which stipulates alternating between them to take the presidency equally.
The agreement provides that Netanyahu will head the government during the first 18 months of the mandate, followed by Gantz for the remaining 18 months. Ministerial positions will be shared equally between the two parties.
It also provides for the formation of a government of 32 ministers for the first six months of its reign to confront the crisis of the spread of the emerging corona virus (COFED-19), after which it will be expanded to 36 ministers to become the largest government in Israel.
|Protesters against the Unity Government (Getty Images)|
The petitions came against the background of the Public Prosecution filing three indictments against Netanyahu (who is 70 years old, who has the longest term in the prime minister's office in the history of Israel) and charges of corruption, embezzlement of funds, and breach of trust in three cases, although he denies them all.
His trial had been scheduled to start in mid-March, but was postponed to mid-May in light of the measures taken to combat the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19).
Its sessions will be transferred by the television circuit to the halls of a limited number of stakeholders and broadcast on the court's website, and supporters and opponents are expected to demonstrate outside.
Expectations indicate that the court will issue its decision until no later than next Thursday, which is the last date before the deadline given by the Speaker of the Knesset to form a government before he is forced to dissolve himself and call new elections.
And last night, hundreds demonstrated in Tel Aviv to protest the agreement to form a unity government between Netanyahu and Gantz, abiding by the rules of social separation.
Demonstrators held placards reading "36 ministers, do you not feel shy?"
It is reported that Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned at the end of the week that if the Supreme Court deems that Netanyahu cannot take over as prime minister, "this will constitute an earthquake and an unprecedented attack on democracy."