What Happened: Likud leader and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared in court on Oct. 2 for pre-indictment hearings in his ongoing corruption cases, The Times of Israel has reported. Meanwhile, speculation is growing that Netanyahu may return the mandate to try and form a new government after talks collapsed with his main potential partner, Benny Gantz.
Why It Matters: With Netanyahu and Gantz failing so far to cobble together a unity government, Israel could be heading toward a third election in under a year. By that time, however, Netanyahu will be facing more pressure in his graft cases, jeopardizing support for Likud.
Background: Both Netanyahu and Gantz fell far short of the 61 Knesset members needed to secure a majority in the legislature in Sept. 17 elections. Netanyahu has vowed to annex parts of the West Bank if he becomes prime minister again.
- Netanyahu Faces Big Obstacles Forming a New Israeli Government (Sept. 26, 2019)
- Turnout Will Be the Tipping Point in Israel's Elections (Sept. 16, 2019)
- Examining Alliances and Splits That Could Determine Israel's Future (Aug. 2, 2019)