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Netanyahu takes test for coronavirus despite lack of ANY symptoms amid trial delay uproar

Netanyahu takes test for coronavirus despite lack of ANY symptoms amid trial delay uproar
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and people close to him have been tested for coronavirus, the PM’s office reported. None of those tested had symptoms of the disease.

The announcement comes as Israel is ramping up measures to battle the spread of the deadly virus with travel restrictions and surveillance of known patients. The epidemic also gave the prime minister a two-month reprieve before his corruption trial after his government imposed a ban on most court sessions in the country.

Later in the day, the PM’s office confirmed that Netanyahu had tested negative for the dreaded virus.

The development was blasted by Netanyahu’s political rival, Benny Gantz, with whom the incumbent PM is seeking to strike a power-sharing agreement. The parties headed by Netanyahu and Gantz failed to score a majority in the March 2 snap election.

“Netanyahu, let's not manipulate the public. If you're interested in unity, why postpone your trial at 1am and send an ‘emergency unity’ outline to the press, rather than sending your negotiating team to a meeting,” he tweeted. “When you get serious, we will talk.”

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Netanyahu is pushing for an “emergency unity government” with Gantz, which is presumably necessary to fight the epidemic. Gantz has been cold to the approaches and has blasted the delay, saying a person seeking national unity would not have put off his own trial. 

Late on Sunday, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin’s office said that Gantz will be entrusted with forming the government, in a new attempt to end the country’s nearly year-long political deadlock.

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