Netanyahu’s era ends as Bennett sworn in as Israel’s new PM

Netanyahu’s era ends as Bennett sworn in as Israel’s new PM

Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year run as Israel’s PM ended on Sunday after the formation of a new government led by Naftali Bennett earned the parliament’s nod.

World leaders from over and across welcomed Israel’s new government, however, Palestinians remained defiant over the policies of the new regime. They are of the opinion that Bennett’s policies will just be a continuation of the previous administration.

The coalition government is cobbled together by Yair Lapid and ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett that announced an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year grip on power.

Netanyahu was seen disgruntled after a razor-thin 60-59 confidence vote was announced by Israel’s parliament.

Netanyahu, who is not accustomed to sitting on the opposition benches, pledged that he would soon return to power. His right-wing and ultra-Orthodox supporters shouted “liar” and “shame”.

Bennett, the high-tech millionaire and former defence minister, is due to be sworn in shortly after the vote and his alliance includes a party that represents its 21% Arab minority.  This has happened for the first time in Israel’s history.

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This alliance has little in common except for an urge to end the Netanyahu era and political deadlock that led to four indecisive elections in two years. The coalition of centrist, left-wing, right-wing and Arab parties is very fragile already.

Netanyahu was weakened by his recurring failure to secure victory in the polls since 2019 and by the ongoing corruption trial in which he is set to land in jail. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

Under a coalition deal, Bennett is to be replaced as prime minister by the centrist, Yair Lapid in 2023.

The new government plans to avoid sweeping moves on hot-button international issues and intends to focus a more pointed policy toward the Palestinians.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the new government coalition and sought to reaffirm US-Israel ties.

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