Court: OK Netanyahu, You Win

Ruling clears way for 'emergency government'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2020 5:40 PM CDT
Israel's Top Court OKs 'Emergency Government'
Supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wear a masks amid concerns over the country's coronavirus outbreak during a protest by in front of Israel's Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 3, 2020.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may form a new government while under indictment for corruption charges, clearing the way for him and his main rival to join together in a controversial power-sharing deal. The unanimous decision, released just before midnight, ended a more than year-long political stalemate and prevented the country from plunging into a fourth consecutive election in just over a year. Netanyahu and his rival-turned-partner, Benny Gantz, said they expected their coalition to be sworn into office next week, the AP reports. After battling to three inconclusive elections, Netanyahu and Gantz announced their "emergency" government last month, saying they needed to steer the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

But critics and good-government groups said their deal was illegal and challenged it in the Supreme Court. In particular, they objected to the creation of a new position of "alternate prime minister," a post that will allow Netanyahu to remain in office throughout his corruption trial. In its decision, the 11-judge panel rejected all of the challenges. "We did not find any legal reason to prevent MK Netanyahu from forming a government," the court said. "The legal conclusion we reached does not diminish the severity of the pending charges against MK Netanyahu for violations of moral integrity and the difficulty derived from the tenure of a prime minister accused of criminal activity," it added.

(Read more Israel stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.