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Opponents of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday night that just before a midnight deadline, they have reached a deal to form a new government.
This paves the way to remove Netanyahu and replace him with Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing party Yamina, CNN reports. He will serve as prime minister for two years, with Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, stepping into the role of foreign minister; once the two years are up, they will swap places.
The government “will work to serve all the citizens of Israel including those who aren’t members of it, will respect those who oppose it, and do everything in its power to unite all parts of Israeli society,” Lapid said in a statement. The next step is for Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to hold a vote of confidence on the coalition agreement. If it passes, the new government and prime minister will be sworn in.
Several parties from the left-wing to the right-wing, as well as an Arab-Israeli party, joined the coalition. Their platforms are very different, but all are looking to get rid of Netanyahu, CNN notes. Israeli voters have gone to the polls four times over the past two years, and after the March election, Netanyahu had 28 days to form a government. He wasn’t able to get enough support, so Lapid was given the same task. On Sunday, Bennett said he was open to forming a coalition in order to keep Israelis from having to vote in a fifth election.