Government swearing-in pushed off to Thursday against backdrop of Pompeo visit

Israel’s 35th government will be officially installed on Thursday, Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, in his role as Knesset speaker, informed parliament Monday afternoon, bringing to an end 16 months of political turmoil wrought by three inconclusive elections.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Blue and White had previously said that their “emergency national unity government,” to be made up also of the United Torah Judaism, Shas, Labor and Gesher parties, would be sworn in Wednesday, once final decisions were made regarding ministerial appointments.

The one-day delay comes after the announcement of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Wednesday visit to Israel, when he will meet with both Netanyahu and Gantz. The head of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the State Department, David Schenker, said last week that the trip was in the works before it became clear that the swearing-in ceremony would happen on the same day.