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Coalition talks, protests canceled due to Mt. Meron tragedy

The marathon of coalition negotiations, which was expected to take place over the weekend, did not happen due to Thursday night’s tragedy at Mount Meron.

There had been no significant contact between the parties aimed at forming a government since Thursday night, nor is it expected to be Sunday – due to the national day of mourning declared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and Monday due to the special mourning session at the Knesset declared by Knesset speaker Yariv Levin.

Netanyahu’s mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to form a government ends Tuesday night at. 23:59

Yamina leader Naftali Bennett had hoped to reach an agreement with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid before then to receive the second term from Rivlin.

Inability to negotiate made it more and more likely that the mandate would go to Lapid, who has the most recommendations for forming a government.

Technically, Netanyahu could ask Rivlin for a two-week extension, but Rivlin̵

7;s staff said such a request would only be considered if Netanyahu had made significant progress toward forming a government.

When a source close to the prime minister was asked if it was possible he would use the Meron disaster as an excuse to get an extension, he said “it is not on the agenda at the moment.”

Blue and white leader Benny Gantz made it clear over the weekend that he was committed to the bloc with the aim of replacing Netanyahu, and he would not accept an offer from Netanyahu to go first in a rotation in the prime minister’s office.

Ra’am (United Arab Listes) leader Mansour Abbas told Channel 12’s Meet the Press program on Saturday that he would only decide at the last minute which government he would support the formation. He said he expected the same from Bennett.

As good news for Bennett, a demonstration against him was joined in a government with left-wing parties set for Sunday in Jerusalem’s Paris Square canceled because of the Meron disaster.

“Do not go to a left-wing government !!!” ads for the protest called for Bennett. “You promised a right-wing government. Hold [your promise]!!! ”

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