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Naftali Bennett Becomes Israel's New Prime Minister, Ending Netanyahu's 12-Year Tenure

© AFP 2021 / MENAHEM KAHANANaftali Bennett Becomes Israel's New Prime Minister, Ending Netanyahu's 12-Year Tenure
Naftali Bennett Becomes Israel's New Prime Minister, Ending Netanyahu's 12-Year Tenure - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2021
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The Knesset convened earlier today to hold a confidence vote on the new coalition government. Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel's largest opposition party Yesh Atid, was given a mandate to form a coalition last month, after acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed the deadline.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina party, has become Israel's new prime minister, unseating the country's longest-serving head of government Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been in office since 2009.

A file picture taken at the Israeli foreign ministry on October 15, 2015, shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) sitting next to Yossi Cohen, who is currently the head of Israel's National Security Council, and who was named as the 12th head of the Mossad intelligence agency by Netanyahu on December 7, 2015. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.06.2021
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The legislative body earlier voted by a narrow 60-59 margin to approve the new diverse coalition government.

Just moments after the vote, Bennett and members of his Cabinet were sworn in into office.

Netanyahu, seemingly despondent, shook his successor's hand and occupied the opposition leader's chair, as seen in a live broadcast of the vote.

Just minutes after the swearing-in ceremony, US President Joe Biden congratulated the new prime minister and said he was looking forward to working with the new Israeli government to strengthen cooperation.

Meanwhile, residents of Tel Aviv, ecstatic about the news, threw a massive party to celebrate "the end of Netanyahu's era".

The Knesset voted in favour of swearing in the new Israeli coalition government created by Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents after years of political instability and rounds upon rounds of early elections. 

Naftali Bennett, Israeli parliament member from the Yamina party, gestures as he gives a statement at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, June 6, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2021
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The new government is expected to be headed by Bennett for around two years. Under the coalition agreements, Bennett will then be replaced by Yair Lapid, the head of Israel's largest opposition party Yesh Atid.

Earlier, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin gave Lapid a mandate to form a coalition government after Netanyahu failed to do so following inconclusive elections in March.

Benjamin Netanyahu headed Israel's government for an impressive 12-year period, making him the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history.

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