Israel’s Netanyahu poised to lose power to new government

Israel's Netanyahu poised to lose power to new government
Benjamin Netanyahu has held power for longer than any other Israeli leader. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Israel’s parliament is expected to approve a new government, ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years in power.

The prospective government has a razor-thin majority of one seat.

It would also end more than two years of political paralysis in Israel, in which three elections resulted in stalemate.

Right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett is poised to become Prime Minister in a power-sharing deal with a centrist leader.

Under the coalition agreement, Yamina party leader Mr Bennett will hold office until September 2023, when he will hand over to Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid, for a further two years.

Mr Netanyahu – Israel’s longest-serving PM, who has dominated its political landscape for years – would remain head of the right-wing Likud party and become leader of the opposition.

He has railed against the new coalition government, calling it a “dangerous coalition of fraud and surrender” and has vowed to “overthrow it very quickly”.

Meanwhile, his trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust continues, though he denies the allegations.

Mr Netanyahu has served a record-breaking five terms as the PM of Israel, first from 1996 to 1999, then continuously from 2009 to 2021.

In April 2019, he called an election but failed to win enough support to form a new coalition government. Two more elections followed after that, each of which ended inconclusively. The third election resulted in a government of national unity where Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to share power with the then-opposition leader Benny Gantz.

But the unity collapsed in December, triggering a fourth election.

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