A new Israeli coalition government approved by the parliament on June 13 has ousted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his 12-year reign.
The Knesset voted 60 to 59 with one abstention to approve a coalition government consisting of Netanyahu’s rivals from different political parties, ending Netanyahu’s run as the longest-serving leader in Israel.
Right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennet has been sworn in as the new prime minister to lead the self-described “government of change” until September 2023, when centrist Yair Lapid will then take over for the last two years of a four-year term.
“We stopped the train before the abyss. The time has come for different leaders, from all parts of the people, to stop, to stop this madness,” Bennett said in a speech, as quoted by The New York Times.
Bennet also thanked Netanyahu for his “lengthy and achievement-filled service.”
Meanwhile, Netanyahu said he would work to “topple this dangerous government.”
“We’ll be back,” Netanyahu vowed.
Netanyahu will remain the leader of the Likud Party.
However, representatives of the Palestinians dismissed the new government.
“This is an internal Israeli affair. Our position has always been clear: what we want is a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” a spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, as quoted by BBC News.
A spokesperson for Palestinian militant group Hamas described the new government as “an occupation and a colonial entity, which we should resist by force to get our rights back.”
Meanwhile, United States President Joe Biden has offered his congratulations to Bennet.
Biden “expressed his firm intent to deepen cooperation between the United States and Israel on the many challenges and opportunities facing the region,” the White House said in a statement.