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02:39

Israel: Rivlin urges parties to form 'government of national unity' at Knesset swearing-in

Israel, Jerusalem
October 03, 2019 at 16:16 GMT +00:00 · Published

The President of Israel Reuven Rivlin urged all parties to form a 'government of national unity' during a speech at the inauguration and swearing-in of the new Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday.

"Honoured guests, my call for a broad government was met with criticism from left and right. I hear that criticism. It is legitimate and contains some truth. I know that a broad government or a 'government of national unity' is not what every Israeli citizen voted for at the elections. I also know that if such a broad government is formed, some of you will find yourselves in the opposition. And yet I, from the bottom of my heart, and in order to carry out my role, am asked and ask to be your president too," Rivlin said at the ceremony.

An alliance of four Arab-majority parties in the Knesset staged a boycott of the swearing-in ceremony in protest against what it calls the government’s failure to address rising levels of violence in Arab towns.

On September 26 Rivlin gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a mandate to form a new government after talks between Netanyahu and his main challenger, Blue and White's Benny Gantz, failed to reach an agreement on a unity government, and after a second 2019 election ended in a deadlock.

02:39
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The President of Israel Reuven Rivlin urged all parties to form a 'government of national unity' during a speech at the inauguration and swearing-in of the new Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday.

"Honoured guests, my call for a broad government was met with criticism from left and right. I hear that criticism. It is legitimate and contains some truth. I know that a broad government or a 'government of national unity' is not what every Israeli citizen voted for at the elections. I also know that if such a broad government is formed, some of you will find yourselves in the opposition. And yet I, from the bottom of my heart, and in order to carry out my role, am asked and ask to be your president too," Rivlin said at the ceremony.

An alliance of four Arab-majority parties in the Knesset staged a boycott of the swearing-in ceremony in protest against what it calls the government’s failure to address rising levels of violence in Arab towns.

On September 26 Rivlin gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a mandate to form a new government after talks between Netanyahu and his main challenger, Blue and White's Benny Gantz, failed to reach an agreement on a unity government, and after a second 2019 election ended in a deadlock.

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