Israel’s new government to be sworn in within one week
Israel’s new government is due to be sworn in within the space of a week, the parliamentary speaker said on Monday.
Parliamentary speaker Yariv Levin did not set an exact date for when lawmakers are due to vote on the fragile eight-party coalition, whose members have little in common beyond a desire to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The swearing-in of the new government brings to an end the era of Netanyahu, at least for now. He has run the country for the past 12 years and is still trying to prevent the planned coalition from taking office.
He is due to be succeeded by Naftali Bennett of ultra-right Yamina party, who is to lead a government made up of eight parties from an array of political camps, including an Arab party.
The incoming coalition is also seeking to replace the parliamentary speaker, according to media reports, as Levin is a member of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.
Netanyahu is still trying to derail the incoming government and has sharply criticized Bennett, accusing him of the “betrayal of the century” by entering the new coalition.
On Sunday, Bennett responded, saying, “Calm down. Let go and allow Israel to move forward.”
The alliance of parties from across the political spectrum has a slim majority of 61 of the 120 lawmakers in the Knesset. But even after the signing of the coalition agreement, there are fears of possible defections.
Netanyahu’s supporters are also seeking to prevent the new government from being sworn in. Domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet has been protecting Bennett since last week, as he has been the target of increased incitement on social networks as well as at demonstrations.