Benjamin Netanyahu’s twelve-year term as Israeli Prime Minister ended on Sunday with the approval of parliament for a new “government of change” led by the nationalist Naftali Bennett.
Bennett said the 2015 renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was a mistake and reiterated that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear power.
In a one-day, noisy session in the Knesset, Bennett’s coalition narrowly won the right to form a government. Long-time former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Bennet was unable to withstand US pressure on nuclear talks with Iran.
On the way to the opposition, Netanyahu, 71, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation, promised to return to power soon.
A former Secretary of Defense and high-tech millionaire, Bennett, 49, was due to be sworn in shortly after the vote.
Apart from a desire to end the Netanyahu era and a political impasse that resulted in four unsuccessful elections in two years, there is little in common. The coalition of left, centrist, right and Arab parties is likely to be fragile.
The new government, formed after an unsuccessful election on March 23, plans largely to avoid sweeping steps on hot international issues such as policy towards the Palestinians and to focus on internal reforms.
The Palestinians, unfazed by the change in government, predicted that Bennett would follow the same right-wing agenda as Netanyahu.
Under a coalition agreement, Bennett will be replaced as Prime Minister by 57-year-old centrist Yair Lapid in 2023.