Arab lawmakers back Gantz in bid to help oust Israel’s Netanyahu

Benny Gantz.

The Arab bloc in Israel’s parliament on Sunday endorsed Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz for prime minister.

It was the first time the Arab lawmakers had backed a candidate for prime minister since 1992.

The support of the Arab Joint List gives Gantz 57 supporters in Parliament. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has 55.

Netanyahu appealed to hardliners ahead of last week’s vote by promising to annex settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. “We promised our constituents that we would do everything to topple Netanyahu,” said Arab lawmaker Ahmad Tibi, “and the default here is recommending Benny Gantz.”

President Reuven Rivlin is meeting with the newly elected factions to determine who will lead the country’s next government.

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