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Friday, 5 March 2021

After three elections, Israel gets its government

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After three elections, Israel gets its government
After three elections, Israel gets its government

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his new unity government to parliament on Sunday, ending more than a year of political deadlock but still facing a trial starting in a week for alleged corruption.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

Israel's parliament approved on Sunday (May 17) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new unity government, ending more than a year of political deadlock after three inconclusive elections.

"An absolute majority of the public welcomes the unity government.

The public wanted a unity government and this is what the public got today." His power-sharing agreement with former election rival, centrist Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, opens the way for the right-wing Netanyahu to proceed towards a pledged de facto annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, land Palestinians seek for a state.

Under the accord with Gantz, Netanyahu will remain prime minister for 18 months before handing over to his new partner.

Gantz, a former armed forces chief, will be Netanyahu's defense minister and "alternate prime minister" -- a new position that Netanyahu will hold when Gantz is in charge.

Netanyahu is still facing a trial starting in a week on charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud, which he denies.

By assuming the "alternate" premiership once he hands over to Gantz, Netanyahu hopes to avoid having to resign from the government under legal rules that allow a prime minister to remain in office even if charged with a crime.

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