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February 2, 2019 1:25 pm

Gantz and Lapid Said to Be Launching Unity Talks; Decision Expected Within Two Weeks

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid (left) and Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz (right). Photos: Adi Cohen Zedek via Wikimedia Commons and REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

In what could lead to a dramatic change in the Israeli electoral landscape, the leaders of two major centrist parties are in talks to run together on a unified list in the upcoming elections, a leader in one of the parties said on Saturday.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, Israel Resilience Party head Benny Gantz and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid were revealed to be in discussions by Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah.  “Talks are taking place between Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz,” and the results will be announced within two weeks, he said, speaking at a cultural event.

“Unification must be based on agreed-upon lines,” Shelah added. “We have to take a sober look at the picture.”

However, Shelah also said that Yesh Atid “is the one that must lead those who seek to replace the regime.”

Polls taken after Gantz’s well-received debut speech as a candidate last week showed that the only party capable of defeating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would be a Gantz-Lapid unity list.

A poll by Israeli news site Walla showed such a party winning 33 seats as opposed to Likud’s 27. Another survey by news outlet Hadashot showed Gantz and Lapid receiving 35 seats and the Likud 30.

Elections will be held on April 9.

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