Netanyahu to form new Israeli government with Jewish Home Party

Newly-elected Israeli PM Netanyahu successes to form new coalition government in Israel hours ahead of midnight deadline

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ends his efforts to establish the next Israeli government with a succession on late Wednesday as he clinched Likud’s narrow coalition with the right wing Jewish Home Party.

The last minute deal will enable the re-elected Netanyahu to maintain his rule over the 120-seated Israeli Parliament, Knesset, with a slimmest majority which consists of necessary 61 seats for forming a government in Israel.

In the recent Israeli parliamentary election held on March 17, the right-wing Likud Party led-by Netanyahu had won 30 seats in the 120-seated Israeli Parliament whereas its main rival left-wing the Zionist Union Party got only 24 seats.

Since the election aftermath, Netanyahu has been striving to form the coalition government, a mission that was entrusted to him by the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin almost 42 days ago.

During the six weeks of negotiations, Netanyahu has struggled to gather three other parties by signing agreements with the centrist Kulanu Party (10 seats), the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party (7 seats) and Shas Party (6 seats) to join the government.

The talks had been stalled on Monday when Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that he will quit from his post and his Yisrael Beiteinu Party will not participate in the new Netanyahu coalition.

Lieberman was quoted by Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday as he was accusing new Israeli government,  which is in the process of being formed by the new-elected PM Netanyahu, of "the embodiment of opportunism."

However, the Israeli PM on late Wednesday was able to convince Naftali Bennett’s far-right nationalist Jewish Home Party just hours before the midnight deadline given to him by Rivlin.

"Israel now has a government," Bennett said when they announce the new government with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

Bennett-led Jewish Home Party is known for its main objection to peace moves towards the Palestinian conflict and further promote Jewish settlements in the occupied lands, a policy that is essentially opposed by both the US and the EU for the sake of Middle East peace process.

Netanyahu has officially informed the post of presidency as saying, "I am honoured to notify you I have succeeded in forming a government, which I would like to present to parliament as soon as possible."

TRTWorld and agencies