Israel opposition parties agree to form new coalition government

Israel opposition parties agree to form new coalition government
Naftali Bennett would be PM until August 2023, when Yair Lapid will succeed him. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Israeli opposition parties have reached an agreement to form a new coalition government that would end long-serving Benjamin Netanyahu’s tenure as prime minister.

Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, announced an eight-faction coalition had been formed.

Under a rotation arrangement, Naftali Bennett, the head of the right-wing Yamina party, would serve as prime minister first before handing over to Mr Lapid.

There still needs to be a parliamentary vote before the coalition government is sworn in.

Mr Lapid said in a statement that he had informed President Reuven Rivlin of the agreement, adding: “I pledge that this government will work in the service of all Israeli citizens, those who voted for it and those who did not.”

He added: “It will respect its opponents and do everything in its power to unite and connect all parts of Israeli society.”

An image carried on Israeli media showed Mr Bennett, Mr Lapid and Arab Islamist Raam party leader, Mansour Abbas, signing the agreement, a deal many thought impossible.

After signing the agreement, Mr Abbas told reporters: “The decision was hard and there were several disputes, but it was important to reach agreements.”

Mr Abbas claimed that there were “many things in this agreement for the benefit of Arab society.”

Mr Lapid said in his note to the president that he would head the government alongside Mr Bennett, who he would replace as prime minister on 27 August 2023.

Mr Rivlin has called on the Israeli parliament to convene as soon as possible to hold the confidence vote.

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