16:13 GMT +322 November 2019
Listen Live
    Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz attends the cabinet meeting at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, July 31, 2014.

    Former Israeli General, Polling Closest to Netanyahu, Joins 2019 Elections

    © AP Photo / Dan Balilty
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    1023
    Subscribe

    Benny Gantz, a former Israeli armed forces chief who according to recent polls is the runner-up to current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, formally established a political party on Thursday to join the 2019 election race.

    Details about Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party were leaked to local media after it was registered, Reuters reported. The party seeks to preserve Israel as “a Jewish and democratic country”, however, it is yet to announce details about its priorities in national security and the economy.

    READ MORE: Netanyahu’s Gift to Settler Movement After Snap Election Called: 2,000 New Homes

    The polls, published Monday after Netanyahu’s announcement of early elections which are to be held on April 9, showed that his Likud party would take around 30 of parliament’s 120 seats and was on course to form a conservative coalition government similar to the current cabinet. However, the same polls, cited by Reuters, gave second place to a then-hypothetical Gantz party, predicting it to take 15 seats in total.

    "It's too early to tell, but he definitely strengthens the centre-left camp," said Mina Tzemach, a leading Israeli pollster, cited by the Miami Herald. “He projects security and integrity. And the fact that he looks good doesn't hurt either.”

    Gantz, 59, became Israel’s top general in 2011 after stints as commander of forces on the tense northern frontier with Syria and Lebanon and as military attache in Washington. He had served a four-year term which oversaw two wars in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. 

    Netanyahu is running for a fifth term while being investigated for three corruption allegations, for which the police have recommended an indictment. The Israeli Prime minister has denied any wrongdoing and Israel’s attorney-general has yet to decide whether to charge Netanyahu.

    Related:

    Netanyahu’s Gift to Settler Movement After Snap Election Called: 2,000 New Homes
    Netanyahu to Have a Hard Time Building New Coalition – Professor
    Turkish Def. Min. Slams Netanyahu's Remarks on Ankara's Kurdish Policy - Reports
    Netanyahu Unsuccessfully Tried to Split Up Syria - Turkish PM
    Netanyahu: Israel to Boost Ops Against Iran in Syria Amid US Pullout
    Tags:
    Polls, Israeli elections, survey, elections, Benny Gantz, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik