Netanyahu "surprised and disappointed" by Gantz rebuff, says open to talks

Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, looks on as he sits next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a memorial ceremony for late Israeli President Shimon Peres, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced disappointment at his election challenger’s rejection on Thursday of his offer to discuss forming an Israeli unity government but said he remained opened to talks.

“I was surprised and disappointed by the fact that, as of now, Benny Gantz still refuses my call to meet,” Netanyahu said on Twitter. “Gantz, my offer that the two of us meet stands. It’s what the public expects of us.”

Writing by Dan Williams