Coalition agreements between the eight parties that have joined forces to replace the outgoing coalition headed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were completed and signed today.
This paves the way for the 61-seat ‘change’ coalition to be sworn in on Sunday, bringing an end to Netanyahu’s 12-year term in office.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid signed agreements with the Ra’am and Yisrael Beytenu parties on Friday morning. Yesh Atid then signed and released agreements with the Labor, Blue and White, New Hope and Yamina parties, with Yamina the last to formally announce a deal had been finalised. The terms of the new coalition will be that Yamina’s Naftali Bennett will serve as prime minister until August 2023, when Lapid will take over until the end of the Knesset term in November 2025.
The intended Lapid-Bennett government is backed by eight of the 13 parties that won seats in the March 23 election, for an expected total of 61 votes, a very slim majority in the 120-member Knesset: Yesh Atid (17 seats), Blue and White (8), Yisrael Beytenu (7), Labour (7), Yamina (6 out of its 7 elected MKs), New Hope (6), Meretz (6), and Ra’am (4).
Bennett was quoted saying in a statement: “The signing of these agreements brings to an end two and a half years of political crisis. We are faced with great challenges, and all the citizens of Israel are looking to us with hope…The government will work for all the Israeli public — religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox, Arab — without exception, as one”.
Lapid vowed the government would prioritise the people of Israel: “That’s what this unity government has been formed to do. All the partners in this government are committed, first and foremost, to the people of Israel”.