Netanyahu era approaches its end, new government seals coalition deals

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jun 11, 2021, 11:39 PM(IST)

Yair Lapid-Naftali Bennett Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving leader, will be succeeded on Sunday by a coalition that includes for the first time a party from Israel's Arab minority

The new government in Israel which is set to end current PM Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year rule signed its final coalition agreement on Friday.

The coalition is expected to focus on economic and social issues. It is not expected to address major diplomatic issues like Israel-Palestinian conflict just yet 

Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving leader, will be succeeded on Sunday by a coalition that includes for the first time a party from Israel's Arab minority.

Under a power-sharing agreement, Naftali Bennett, of the ultra-nationalist Yamina (Rightwards) party, will serve as prime minister for two years. He will then hand over the post to Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party.

Bennett said on Friday that the coalition "brings to an end two and a half years of political crisis". However, it is unclear how long the disparate elements of the coalition would hold together.

Among the agreements outlined by parties in what Lapid described as a "unity government" are:

  • Limiting the prime minister's term of office to two terms, or eight years.
  • An infrastructure push to include new hospitals, a new university and a new airport.
  • Passing a two-year budget to help stabilize the country's finances - the prolonged political stalemate has left Israel still using a pro-rated version of a base 2019 budget that was ratified in mid-2018.
  • Maintaining the "status-quo" on issues of religion and state, with Bennett's Yamina party to have a veto. Possible reforms include breaking up an ultra-Orthodox monopoly on overseeing which foods are kosher, and decentralizing authority over Jewish conversions.
  • An "overall plan for transportation" in the Israeli- occupied West Bank.
  • A general goal to "ensure Israel's interests" in areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control.* Allocating more than 53 billion shekels ($16 billion) to improve infrastructure and welfare in Arab towns, and curbing violent crime there.
Read in App