Benjamin Netanyahu called for direct elections against political rival and leader of the Blue & White alliance Benny Gantz on Saturday if ongoing talks to form a unity government fail.

“It’s still not too late, but if they don’t come to their senses and set up a national unity government, there is one more thing we can do to prevent an unnecessary Knesset election: A direction election for the premiership between Benny Gantz and myself,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“Blue & White say that they know what the people want, so I’m all for the people deciding and no one else – including the media,” he added.

Blue & White almost immediately rejected the premier’s offer, calling Netanyahu’s proposal “hollow spin” aimed at distracting from his legal woes.

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