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Netanyahu ousted as PM, celebrations in Israel

In the vote of confidence held in the parliament earlier, 60 lawmakers of the 120-member chamber voted in favour of the new government

Monday June 14, 2021 7:36 AM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Israel

Occupied Jerusalem: Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina (United Right) party, was sworn in as new Israeli prime minister on Sunday night, ending Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-years of, what critics call, corrupt rule.

This came after the new coalition government, headed by Bennett and Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid (Future) party, was approved by the parliament, or Knesset, in a vote of confidence, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Narrow vote"

In the vote of confidence held in the parliament earlier, 60 lawmakers of the 120-member chamber voted in favour of the new government while 59 voted against it.

TV footages of the parliament session showed Bennett and Lapid taking their new seats at the coalition seats in the parliament, while Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving leader, moved to the back seats of the opposition.

At the same time, the 27 new ministers of the new governing coalition were also sworn in.

Bennett and Lapid will rotate as the prime minister on a two-year base, with Bennett going first. Lapid will serve as Israel's alternate prime minister and foreign minister.

Israel's parliament on Sunday night also elected Mickey Levy, a lawmaker with Yesh Atid, as its new speaker.

The new coalition includes eight parties, including the Islamist Ra'am party, the first Arab faction to be included in a governing coalition in Israel.

"Drums and Dance"

Several thousand Israelis turned out in Tel Aviv on Sunday, spraying foam and confetti, and jumping into fountains to celebrate the establishment of a new government in Israel and to revel in the ousting of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Tel Aviv, thousands thronged to Rabin Square. Its iconic fountain, so often a scene of revelry at times of national celebration was drained due to the construction of a subway line, but revelers brought along a foam cannon and confetti instead.

Other’s headed to the nearby fountain in Dizengoff square for a celebratory splash. “Bibi go home,” a man led a chant from the podium Rabin Square, where anti-Netanyahu demonstrators have been calling for him to step down for more than a year.

The forming of the new coalition government has ended a political crisis in Israeli that has seen four elections in two years.

 

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