The Israeli parliamentary speaker is scheduling the vote that could end Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.
Israeli Speaker of Parliament has scheduled a vote for Sunday on a new government ending the 12-year rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest in the country’s history.
“The debate and vote on the new government will take place on Sunday … during a special session of parliament,” Netanyahu’s ally President Yariv Levin said on Tuesday.
If the coalition of right-wing, left-wing, centrist and Arab parties wins the vote of confidence, it will be sworn in on the same day, marking the end of Netanyahu’s presence as prime minister and his replacement by nationalist Naftali Bennett.
Last Wednesday, the leader of the Yesh Atid centrist party, Yair Lapid, announced that he and Bennett, a former defense minister leading the far-right Yamina party, had formed a broad governmental alliance after an inconclusive election on March 23, Israel’s fourth in two years.
Under his agreement, Bennett will serve first as prime minister, followed by Lapid.
Bennett had Levin urged to hold the Knesset vote this Wednesday and called on Netanyahu to “let go” and stop making any effort to convince members of the new coalition to defect and eliminate his inauguration.
The bitter recriminations of the Israeli right and far right caused Israeli security services to issue a rare warning against the online incitement, which Netanyahu’s opponents say was a warning to the prime minister.
Netanyahu has called the new coalition a “fraud of the century” as it tries to frustrate the coalition by disengaging uncomfortable right-wing deserters from working with left-wing and Arab lawmakers (Palestinian citizens of Israel).
Israel held four elections in less than two years, the most recent in March.
Increasingly, voters were deeply polarized about whether Netanyahu should remain in office facing allegations of corruption, for which he is now on trial.
Last year an emergency government was formed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which was plunged into a political struggle and collapsed in December.
Netanyahu tried and failed to form a government after the March elections before Lapid was given the mandate.
The political transition, which could still be derailed, comes amid intense tensions after weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in Jerusalem.
Israel launched 11 days military assault on Gaza this left more than 250 Palestinians dead, including 66 children.