News12 years of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule in Israel end

12 years of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule in Israel end

Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years as Israel’s prime minister came to an end on Sunday, after parliament approved a new “government of change” led by nationalist Naftali Bennett.

Heading to take up his position in the opposition, Netanyahu, 71, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation, vowed that he would return to power soon.

In a gritty session in which Netanyahu’s right-wing and ultranationalist supporters yelled “shame” and “liar” at Bennett, parliament cast a vote of confidence in his new administration by a slim 60-59 majority.

Bennett, a 49-year-old former defense minister and tech millionaire, was scheduled to be sworn in shortly after the vote.

His alliance includes for the first time in Israel’s history a party that represents the 21% Arab minority.

With little in common except his desire to end the Netanyahu era and the political impasse that led to four inconclusive elections in two years, the coalition of left, center, right and Arab parties is likely to be fragile.

Netanyahu is the longest-serving leader in Israel’s history, serving as prime minister since 2009, following a first term from 1996 to 1999. However, he has been weakened by his repeated failures to achieve electoral victories since 2019 and for an ongoing corruption trial, in which he denies any wrongdoing.

Under the coalition agreement, Bennett will be replaced as prime minister by the centrist Yair Lapid, 57, in 2023.

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